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Engi-sr/od bv T B.W 

WMgJgUg jUTUB) Wo&oA 




F.A.S., M.R.I. A., Etc., Etc. 




"Amabat vehementer quod docebat, docebat argute quod ama- 
bat; utrumque gignit in eo qui scriptis illius propiua intendit 
animum." Erasmus. 



Nasfjbtlle, Cemt.: 





Prefatory Note to the American Edition v 

Preface vii 

Introductory 9 



Chapter I. His Parentage and Childhood 13 

II. Regenerate 30 

III. First Essays in the Service of Christ 53 

IV. The opened Road rough at the outset 61 

V. The Evangelist 76 

VI. The Evangelist 92 

VII. The Missionary „ 115 

VIII. The Circuit Minister 144 

IX. The Circuit Minister 166 



Chapter I. The Preacher 186 

II. The Pastor 203 

III. The Preacher and Pastor — continued 218 

IV. The Preacher and Pastor— continued 242 

V. The President , 257 

VI. Itinerancy 279 

VII. Itinerancy 289 

VIII. The Student and Scholar 305 

IX. The Student— continued '. 834 

X. The Author 350 

XI. The Literary Servant of the State 370 

XII. The Coadjutor of the Bible Society 879 

XIII. The Commentator 882 





Chapter I. The Elder revered in the Church 406 

II. Honored by the Great and Good 423 

III. The Philanthropist 436 

IV The Friend 449 

V. The Husband 469 

VI. The Father 477 

VII. The Saint— in Life and Death 485 

SUPPLEMENT of Illustrative Passages from Dr. Clarke's Cor- 
respondence 502 


A new biography of Dr. Adam Clarke has long 
been desired in this country as well as in Great 
Britain ; but the work desiderated was not so easily 
furnished. It could not be written except by one 
who might have access to the stores of materials 
known to be in possession of the family and friends 
of that eminent man ; and then it was exceedingly 
difficult to find any one who possessed all the 
qualifications "necessary to the undertaking. After 
much deliberation, and consultation with the rela- 
tives of Dr. Clarke, the British Conference pre- 
vailed on the Rev Dr. Etheridge to write the work. 
This was a happy selection — the Doctor being a 
Methodist minister, well acquainted with the his- 
tory, principles, and leading men of the Connec- 
tion, a man of liberal spirit and sound judgment, 
and of rare attainments in oriental and general 
literature. He entered on the work under favor- 
able auspices, and seems to have spared no pains 


to produce a biography worthy of its subject, and 
one which should be pronounced so by competent 
judges, particularly those at whose instance it was 
undertaken. His labors were successful. After 
receiving the approval of the relatives and friends 
of Dr. Clarke, and having been highly eulogized 
by the British Conference, his new Life of the 
great Commentator passed into rapid and extensive 
circulation as soon as it issued from the London 

Advanced sheets of the book were courteously 
forwarded to us by the "Wesleyan editor, but circum- 
stances forced us to postpone the republication to 
the present time. As Dr. Clarke has perhaps as 
many admirers in the United States as he has on the 
other side of the Atlantic, it is hoped this volume — 
which is an exact reprint of Dr. Etheridge's work — 
will prove a source of pleasure and pnofit to thou- 
sands of readers. 

Thos. O. Summers. 

Nashville, Tenn., April 12, 1859. 


It has been long felt that the communion of which the 
eminent person to whose memory these pages are dedicated 
was a devoted minister, should have its own record of his 
exemplary life ; a*nd the Committee charged with the literary 
affairs of the Methodist Connection have the happiness of 
stating that, by an arrangement with his surviving represent- 
atives, by which the copyright of many inedited papers lias 
come into their possession, they are enabled to meet such a 
demand. Several years have passed since the publication of 
any biography of Dr. Clarke; and we believe that the time 
is now come when a new volume on the subject, written on a 
plan altogether different from any already pursued, may be 
offered without disparagement to the interests of preceding 

The ample materials placed at our disposal are sufficient for 
the creation of a work as voluminous as some of our largest 
English biographies — those, for example, of Chalmers or of 
Wilberforce; but the object of the Committee, to offer a 
memoir which shall be accessible to readers in general, would 
thereby have been defeated. A book of such dimensions, 
like the Leviathan ship, is not always easily launched. As it 



is, we have the satisfaction of believing that the present 
work will be found to present the memorabilia of Dr. Adam 
Clarke's life and character in such a clear and true light as 
shall render it an acceptable gift to those who knew and loved 
him, and a means of pleasure and profit to many others, who, 
now becoming acquainted with his excellences, will begin to 
love him too. 

It will not be deemed at all disrespectful to the Doctor's 
name, that we have recounted the annals of his life without 
overloading our recital with a cumbrous mass of particulars, 
which, important as they may have been, in their own hour, 
do not extend a sufficient influence on after-time to demand 
a record on the page of history. This principle has been 
adopted as the right one in all the ages of literature ; and, 
therefore, some of the choicest and most classic biographies, 
both ancient and modern, are distinguished by their compar- 
ative brevity. 

We have to express our respectful sense of obligation to 
Mrs. Richard Smith, the daughter and first biographer of 
Dr. Clarke, for the kindness with which she. has afforded 
every facility for the completion of this new Life of her hon- 
ored father, and, also, our best thanks to Messrs. W Tegg 
& Co., the proprietors of the Doctor's voluminous works, for 
their permission to republish the excellent portrait which 
gives an embellishment to the present volume. 

Maech, 1858. 


The most ancient book in the possession of mankind, the 
Txenesis of Moses, has enregistered for all time a series of 
biographical memoirs. The Spirit of God, in dictating those 
recitals by his own inspiration, has thus given a Divine and 
eternal signature to the lawfulness, and utility of a description 
of writing which perpetuates the names of the great and 
good, reechoes the words of the silent dead, and preserves. 
in imperishable fragrance, the sanctities of their ended life. 
The same principle is inculcated throughout the Bible. " The 
memory of the just is blessed." "The righteous shall be in 
everlasting remembrance." Upon the Christian Church the 
duty is enjoined, by an express command, to "remember 
them who have spoken to us the word of God," and to imi- 
tate their faith. May he then who now writes, and they who 
shall read, the words l3f this record, be stirred up to follow 
the high example ofrhim to whose memory these pages are 
consecrated, remembering "the end of his conversation, 
Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." 

A quarter of a century has already passed since this emi- 
nent servant of God descended to the grave ; yet not for a 
day in this long interval has he ceased to preach among the 




living the truths which it was the labor of his life to illus- 
trate and practice. And while some of his contemporaries, 
who in their day made a considerable figure, have already 
disappeared in oblivion, time, the great prover of all things, 
has, for the name of Adam Clarke, authenticated a title to 
immortality. The worth of his character, his massive and 
consecrated learning, the high motives of his laborious life, 
and the enduring beneficence of its results, have all belh 
verified by a scrutinizing world. 

The retrospect of such a career will strengthen the best 
aspirations of the heart, and show us the way to attain their 
objects. Adam Clarke uplifts his eyes, at the outset, to the 
true standard of human effort, the glory and approval of the 
Most High God. With this great ideal he holds such habit- 
ual converse as greatly to think, and feel, and live, till at 
length his character brightens into a deathless grandeur, and 
he "stands in his lot" with those nobles of the universe 
who are " a kind of first-fruits" of the creatures of God. 

Few ministers of the gospel in the present age, by the 
integrity of their character, the splendor of their learning, 
and the sterling merit of their works, have • acquired more 
largely the veneration of enlightened and impartial men in 
all parts of Christendom, than Dr. Clarke; and, if so many 
of the good and great in every branch of the catholic Church 
have learned to esteem his memory, it well becomes that 
particular communion of which he was a conspicuous orna- 
ment, and in the most intimate fellowship with which he 
lived and died, to enshrine his name in her heart, and to 
teach it to her children. " He was a burning and shining 


light," and we who, while he was yet personally with us, 
rejoiced in the benefit of his luminous ministration, should 
give some. worthy attestation of our grateful estimate of his 
labors and his love, and of our desire that those who follow 
us may profit, to distant ages, by the unfading reflections of 
his wisdom, and the inspirations of his great example. 

Nor is there any need that this sacred tribute should be 
spoiled of its moral effect by the use of exaggerated eulogy, 
or the pompous imbecilities of laborious panegyric. No man 
requires this at our hand. We do not ask that the name of 
Adam Clarke should be canonized, nor seek for him a niche 
in the pantheon of imaginary saints, around whose heads a 
paganized Romanism has traced the aureole of unearthly 
perfection. It is our aim to fulfil the far more difficult but 
more fruitful task of portraying the actual life of a sincere 
Christian, a diligent inquirer after truth, and a hard-working 
and effective servant of God and of man in the diffusion of 
it, clad, all the while, in the every-day habiliments of suffer- 
ing humanity. 

And, if the most sun-like of characters have had their 
spots, and no mere man, however gTeat, has ever appeared 
without some imperfections and littlenesses, the subject of 
our memoir will not be depreciated if we find that in opinion 
he was sometimes in error, or that in any of the partialities 
or prejudices of the heart he gave evidence of being a fellow- 
creature, of like passions with ourselves. But after all, it 
will, I believe, be a common conclusion that he was more free 
from these inevitable blemishes than most men; while, on 
the other hand, few instances may be adduced in which a 


nobler model has been offered to the study and imitation of 
the aspirant after real excellence. The lessons of his life 
teach those who are asking after the way of salvation the 
secret of attaining true repose for the conscience, and purifi- 
cation for the heart; the heroic enterprises of his intellect 
animate the student to press into those regions of knowledge 
into which he went as a pioneer, and where there remains so 
much land to be possessed ; the evangelist will be stirred up 
to seek the needed and promised gifts of the Spirit, with 
whose uncreated flame this great doctor of the Church was 
so richly baptized ; and, even with regard to secular interests, 
in his advancement from the humblest circumstances to an 
elevation in which he became the recognized teacher of 
teachers, and the familiar friend of the prelate and the prince, 
young men may learn how, in a country and age like ours, 
integrity and diligence in one's allotted sphere will not fail 
of their recompense of reward. In a word, in the progress 
of his career, the living may learn how to live, and, in its 
consummation, the dying how to die. 

The providence and grace of God have, from age to age, 
raised up men whose lives should be a beacon of hope to 
thein who come after. "A true intellect stands like a watch- 
tower upon the shore." The waves thunder against it, and 
vanish in spray. Its clear and steady lamp burns in the 
storm, a consolation and a guide over the dark sea to the 
haven of glory. 


or THE 





To retrace the footsteps of Adam Clarke's early youth, we 
should visit soino obscure hamlets in Ireland, lying on the 
borders of the North Channel, in a champaign country, 
abounding in landscapes, where a Huysdael or a Paul Potter 
would have found many a congenial subject for his pencil. 
The ancestors of Adam Clarke, though of English origin, 
had been settled in that part of Ireland for some generations, 
and were possessed of good landed property in the counties 
of Antrim and Deny. The family came into Ireland some 
time in the seventeenth century, and obtained a portion of 
what were called the " Debenture Lands " The property 
thus acquired was afterward increased by intermarriages with 
the families of Strawbridge, Courtenay, Higgison, and Boyd. 



Dr. Clarke's great-great-grandfather, William Clarke, held 
the estates of Grange, in the county of Antrim, and was 
regarded with such consideration in the county as to be ap- 
pointed to receive the Prince of Orange, when, in 1690, he 
came to Carrickfergus. An anecdote of this interview is 
preserved, to the effect that Mr. Clarke, though at that time 
a disciple of the rigid doctrines of George Fox, mindful 
neither to compromise his principles as a Quaker, nor his 
behavior as a gentleman, left his hat behind him, and so 
approached the prince bareheaded. He addressed his future 
monarch in a few words of dignified simplicity, with which the 
prince seemed well content, and entered upon a conversation, 
at the close of which he was pleased to say that Mr. Clarke 
was one of the best-bred men he had ever met with. This 
William Clarke had a son named John, who married a daugh- 
ter of Mr. Horseman, mayor of Carrickfergus. They had 
eighteen sons and one daughter. The ninth of these sons 
was William Clarke, the grandfather of our Adam. He 
formed a matrimonial connection with the Boyds, a family of 
Scotch extraction, who appear to have settled in Irelandabout 
the same time with the Clarkes. Archibald Boyd was a 
Presbyterian clergyman, and the first Protestant who preached 
at Maghera after the devolution. The fruit of the marriage 
of William Clarke with Miss Boyd were four sons, of whom 
the eldest, John, was the father of Adam. 

These few details are sufficient to show that the family of 
the Clarkes held rank formerly with the most substantial and 
respectable in that part of the kingdom. But, like those of 
many other houses, their fortunes had, toward the end of the 
last century, undergone a disastrous change. Their lands, in 
the neighborhoods of Larne and Glenarm, and on the pleasant 
banks of Lough Neagh, fell, by one loss after another, into 
the hands of strangers. A lawsuit deprived them of an 
excellent estate called "the Grange," and, while Adam was 


jet a child, the last acre of their property was gone. " I 
well remember," he once said, " the time when the last farm 
went out of the family, and our ancient boast was lost for 
ever. The weeping and wailing that morning upon which 
we were made acquainted with the fact still live in my re- 
membrance, though I was then scarcely seven years of age." 
Yet who knows but that there was mercy in this stroke ? 
Had that little estate remained, men would, perhaps, never 
have heard of Adam Clarke. The Supreme Disposer often 
takes away one blessing to make way for a greater. 

John, the father of Adam Clarke, has been described by 
the latter as " a man standing about five feet seven, with good 
shoulders, an excellent leg, a fine hand, and every way well 
proportioned, and extremely active." Intended by his 
parents for the Church, he had received a good classical 
education at school, which was followed up by studies for the 
clerical profession, at the universities of Edinburgh and 
Glasgow. Among his college testimonials was the name of 
the eminent Hebraist, Hutchinson. At Edinburgh he gained 
a prize of some distinction, and at Glasgow took his degree 
of Master of Arts. He then, with the more immediate view 
of qualifying for episcopal orders, entered Trinity College, 
Dublin, successfully competing for a sizarship, at a time when 
classical merit was the only passport to that privilege. Thus 
far all was propitious; but a severe fever prostrated his 
health, and, after his return to Dublin, a premature marriage 
with one who .became the deservedly loved partner of the 
joys and adversities of after-life, dissolved his connection 
with the university, and gave a new direction to his career 
By the stress of circumstances now unknown, Mr. Clarke 
was induced to turn his views from the clerical to the scho- 
lastic profession. His first idea was to obtain a professorship 
in one of the new collegiate establishments in America, and 
for this adventure he turned his patrimony into money, and 


took a passage in a vessel bound for that continent. On the 
very eve of embarkation, his father, who earnestly deprecated 
the undertaking, succeeded in dissuading him from attempt- 
ing it. With some still lingering hopes of obtaining church- 
preferment, the young scholar now passed an anxious interval, 
during which his means of support were rapidly melting 
away; and at length, as a kind of last resource, he applied 
for the customary license to act as a teacher of youth, and 
gave up the pulpit of the clergyman for the desk of the 
schoolmaster. His lot was now confirmed, and the steady, 
earnest, and laborious endeavors, which gave a character to 
his remaining life, manifest an unswerving resolution to acquit 
himself of its responsibilities. The school appears to have 
been generally well attended, and by the children of all ranks 
in the neighborhood. The young people bent their steps in 
a morning to the common place of learning, alike from the 
cottage, the rectory, and the hall. Dr. Barnard, afterwards 
bishop of Killaloe and of Limerick, was at that time rector 
of the parish, and confided his own son to the care of Mr. 
Clarke, among whose scholars there were not a few who in 
after-years filled the situations of clergymen, (whether Epis- 
copal, Popish, or Presbyterian,) medical men, lawyers, and 
schoolmasters. Dr. Clarke used to say that there were ,few 
priests, clergymen, surgeons, or lawyers, of those resident in 
the north of Ireland, who had not been educated by his 
father. And yet, from the extremely low charges then cus- 
tomary for education, the diligent labors of this able and 
conscientious teacher yielded but a poor return for the support 
of his family. The highest charge for a range of instruction 
which comprehended the mathematics, and the classics, both 
Latin and Greek, was seven shillings per quarter, while the 
primary elements of school-knowledge were rendered at the 
lowly price of fourpence, twopence, and even three halfpence 
per week. It may be conjectured, therefore, that the tern- 


poral concerns of the family were the reverse of affluent. 
The worthy schoolmaster knew all about the res angusta domi. 
The mind both of father and mother seems to have been 
shadowed by almost habitual care ; and the children, as Adam 
once expressed it, " neither fared sumptuously every day, nor 
was their clothing purple and fine linen." 

Mrs. Clarke was of Scotch origin, a descendant of the 
M'Leans of Mull, in the Hebrides, a hardy race, remarkable 
for muscular strength. A brother of Mrs. Clarke, the Rev. 
I. M'Lean, "could bend iron bars with a stroke of his arm; 
roll up large pewter dishes like a scroll with his fingers ; and, 
when travelling through Bovagh wood, (a place through 
which his walks frequently lay,) he has been known to pull 
down the top of an oak sapling, twist it into a withe by the 
mere strength of his arms and fingers, and, thus working it 
down in a spiral form to the earth, leave it with its root in 
the ground, for the astonishment of all that might pass by."* 

One day, dining at an inn with two officers, who wished to 
be witty at the parson's expense, he said something which 
had a tendency to check their self-confidence. One of them, 
considering his honor affected, said, "Sir, were it not for 
your' cloth, I would oblige you to eat the words you have 
spoken." Mr! M'Lean rose up in a moment, took off his 
coat, rolled it up, and threw it under the table with, " Divinity, 
lie there ; and, M'Lean, do for thyself." Saying it, he seized 
the foremost of the heroes by the cuff of the neck and the 
waistband, and threw him out of the window. 

The great-grandfather of Mrs. Clarke, Laughlin M'Lean,- 
was chief of his clan, and laird of Dowart. Dr. Clarke ever 
cherished a tender veneration for his mother. According to 
his description, she was not a beauty, but a sensible woman ; 
something above the average height, graceful in moving, and 

* Autobiography, 


remarkably erect even in old age. What was better, she was as 
upright in principle; a woman who feared God, and whom his 
Holy Spirit failed not, as we shall see, to lead at length into 
the liberty of his children. Mrs. Clarke, at the time of her 
marriage, was a decided Presbyterian ; her husband, with 
equal strength of principle, an Episcopalian. It redounds 
not a little to their honor, that these differences never inter- 
fered with the charm of that holy love which tempered and 
sanctified the hardships of their self-denying life. Their 
eldest son, named Tracy, after his relative, the Rev. John 
Tracy, rector of Kilcronaghan, was bred to the medical pro- 
fession. Some passages in his remarkable history will be 
noticed farther on. Of their daughters, the eldest married 
the Rev. W M. Johnson, LL. D., rector of St. Perrans 
Uthnoe, in Cornwall ; and another became the wife of Tho- 
mas Exley, Esq., M.A., of Bristol. 

Adam Clarke, the subject of our memoir, was born at 
Moybeg, in the parish of Kilcronaghan, county Londonderry. 
The year of his birth was either 1760 or 1762. He was 
always uncertain upon this point, but inclined to the first 
date. Though he was baptized by his uncle Tracy, no regis- 
ter of the baptism was preserved, and Mrs. Clarke herself 
cuuld give him no decisive information, her own recollection 
on the matter being somewhat confused. This is not an 
unexampled instance of maternal forgctfulness. The mother 
of Dr. Martin Luther could not certify the year of his birth. 
Melancthon, who questioned her about it, records that she 
recollected the day and the hour perfectly, but had forgotten 
the year.* Mrs. Clarke's prevailing sentiment was that her 
son was born in 1760. He received the Christian name of 
Adam at the request of his grand-parents, in memory of a 

* Audin, " Histoire de Luther." 


beloved son of their own, whom they had lost in early life. 
The old people wished to adopt him as their own child, and 
his first years were passed under their charge. Adam was a 
remarkably hardy child : at eight months on his feet, and a 
month later walking about alone ; at three years old sitting in 
the snow in winter, and in the summer wandering among the 
lanes and fields, and often taking his stand by a draw-well, 
peering curiously into its depths, as if searching to know the 
mysteries beneath. When, at five years, he took the small- 
pox, the child disdained the then customary regimen of cov- 
ering up the patient in a closely-shut room, left his bed on 
every opportunity, and ran away naked in the open air. He 
had, also, uncommon strength for his age, which his father 
seemed proud of showing, setting the child to roll large stones 
when visitors came to the house. 

He appears to have returned to his father's care on the re- 
moval of the family from Moybeg to Maghcra, a village in 
the county of Deny, sixteen miles south of Coleraine. This 
was when Adam was six years old. Two years later we find 
another removal to Garva, or Grove, a hamlet some ten miles 
distant. Here they resided till about his twelfth year ; when 
their unsettled domestic history shows another exodus, to a 
place called Ballyaherton, in the parish of Agherton, some 
little space from Coleraine. It was in the first of these 
transient resting-places that the future commentator on the 
Bible became, though with sore trials to the flesh and spirit, 
acquainted with the contents of the primer. Unlike his bodily 
powers, the mental faculties of the child were but slowly de- 
veloped. He has told us that " he found it very difficult to 
acquire even the knowledge of the alphabet," and that his 
father, who had set his heart upon his becoming a scholar, 
strove to awaken his intellect with harsh words and unseason- 
able chastisement. "But this." says the Doctor, "so far 
from eliciting genius, rather produced an increase of hebe- 


tude ; so that himself began to despair of ever being able to 
acquire any knowledge by means of letters. When, how- 
ever, he was about eight years of age, he was led to entertain 
hopes of future improvement from the following circumstance : 
A neighboring schoolmaster, calling at the school where 
Adam was then endeavoring to put vowels and consonants 
together, was desired by the teacher to assist in hearing a 
few of the lads their lessons. Adam was the last that went 
up, not a little ashamed of his deficiency : he, however, 
hobbled through his lesson, though in a very indifferent 
manner, and the teacher apologized to the stranger, and 
remarked that that lad was a grievous dunce. The assistant, 
clapping young Clarke on the head, said, ' Never fear, sir ; 
this lad will make a good scholar yet.' This was the first 
thing that checked his own despair of learning, and gave 
him hope." I give this in his own words, for the sake of 
the useful reflection which follows them: "How injudicious 
is the general mode of dealing with those who are called dull 
boys ! To every child learning must be a task ; and as no 
young person is able to comprehend the maxim, that the 
acquisition of learning will compensate the toil, encourage- 
ment and kind words from the teacher are indispensably 
necessary to induce the learner to undergo the toil of those 
gymnastic exercises. Wilful idleness and neglect should be 
reprehended and punished; but where genius has not yet 
been unfolded, nor reason acquired its proper seat, the mild- 
est methods are the most likely to be efficient, and the 
smallest progress should be watched and commended, that it 
may excite to further attention and diligence. With those 
who are called dull boys this method rarely fails. . But there 
are few teachers who possess the happy art of developing 
genius. They have not sufficient penetration to find out the 
bent or characteristic propensity of their pupils' minds, to 
give them the requisite excitement or direction. In conse- 


quence, there have been innumerable native diamonds which 
have never shone, because they have fallen into such hands 
as could not distinguish them from common pebbles ; and to 
them neither the hand nor the art of the lapidary has ever 
been applied. Many children, not naturally dull, have be- 
come so under the influence of the schoolmaster."* 

The elder Mr. Clarke was a man of right honest purpose, 
and of resolute determination. He reigned in the school as 
an absolute monarch in his kingdom. His juvenile subjects 
knew the man and- his communications, and worked with the 
assurance that nothing short of actual improvement would 
keep them right with him. He was their friend, though a 
severe one. It was their welfare he had at heart. Gold- 
smith's description of a similar potentate applies to him in 
this as in other respects : 

" Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, 
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, 
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, 
The village master taught his little school. 
A man severe he was, and stern to view : 
I knew him well, and every truant knew. 
Well had the boding trembler8*learned to trace 
The day's disasters in his morning face: 
Full -well they laughed, with counterfeited glee, 
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he ; 
Full well the busy whisper, circling round. 
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned. 
Yet he w^is kind ; or, if severe in aught, 
The love he bore to learning was in fault." 

The progress of" Adam Clarke's intellectual history will 
have our attention more fully hereafter. The only other 
incident I shall mention here relates to the manner in which 
he made his first free outset in the path of learning. And 

* Autobiography. 


this, as also two or three other critical passages in his expe- 
rience, we will recount in his own words : "As soon as Adam 
got through the ' Reading made easy,' had learned to spell 
pretty correctly, and could read with tolerable ease in the 
New Testament, his father, who wished, if possible, to make 
him a scholar, put him into Lily's Latin Grammar. This 
was new and painful work to little Clarke, and he was stum- 
bled by almost the first sentence which he was ordered to get 
by heart, not because he coul'd not commit it to memory, but 
because he could not comprehend — " In speech be these eight 
parts following : noun, pronoun, verb, participle, declined ; 
adverb, conjunction, preposition, interjection, undeclined.' 
He," however, "committed this to memory, and repeated it, 
and many of its fellows, without understanding one tittle of 
the matter; and, as the understanding was not instructed, 
the memory was uselessly burdened. The declensions of 
nou?is were painful, but he overcame them; and the conju- 
gations of verbs he got more easily through. 'Propria qum 
maribiiH he got through with difficulty, at two lines each 
lesson. With the 'As in irnexcnti' of the same ponderous 
Grammar he was puzzled beyond measure : he could not un- 
derstand the 'I!o fit psi, do fit di, mo fit ui,' etc., and could 
by no means proceed. Of the reason or probable utility of 
such things he could form no judgment, and at last it became 
so intolerable that he employed two whole days, and part of 
a third, in fruitless endeavors to commit to memory ftvo lines, 
with their construction, of what appeared to him useless and 
incomprehensible jargon. His distress was indescribable, 
and he watered his book with his tears. At last he laid it 
by with a broken heart, and in utter despair of ever bein" 
able to make any progress. He took up an English Testa- 
ment, sneaked into an English class, and rose with them to 
say a lesson. The master perceiving it, said, in a terrific 
tone, 'Sir, what brought you here';' Where is your Latin 


Grammar ?' He burst into tears, and said, with a piteous 
voice, 'I cannot learn it.' He had now reason to expect all 
the severity of the rod, but the master, getting a little mode- 
rate, perhaps moved by his tears, contented himself with 
saying, ' Go, sir, and take up your Grammar. If you do not 
speedily get that lesson, I shall pull your ears as long as 
Jowler's,' (a great dog belonging to the premises,) ' and you 
shall be a beggar till the day of your death !' These were 
terrible words, and seemed to express the sentence of a ruth- 
less and unavoidable destiny. He retired, and sat down by 
the side of a young gentleman with whom he had been in 
class, but who, unable to lag behind with his dulness, re- 
quested to be separated, that he might advance by himself. 
He was received with the most bitter taunts : ' What ! have 
you not learned that lesson yet ? 0, what a stupid ass ! You 
and I began together : you are now only in As in prcesenti, 
and I am in syntax ; and then; with cruel mockery, he began 
to repeat the last lesson he had learned. The effect of this 
was astonishing. Adam was roused as from a lethargy : he 
felt, as he expressed himself, as if something had broken 
within him : his mind in a moment was all light. Though 
he felt indescribably mortified, he did not feel indignant. 
'What!' 1 said he to himself, 'shall I ever be a dunce, and 
the butt of these fellows' insults V He snatched up his book ; 
in a few minutes committed the lesson to memory ; got the 
construction speedily ; went up, and said it without missing 
a word ; took up another lesson, acquired it almost immedi- 
ately, said this also without a blemish, and in the course of 
that day wearied the master with his so often repeated returns 
to say lessons, and committed to memory all the Latin versos. 
with their English construction, in which heavy and todious 
Lily has described the four conjugations, with their excep- 
tions, and so Torth. Nothing like this had appeared in the 
school before. The boys were astonished, admiration took 


the place of mockery, and from that hour — it may be said 
from that moment — he found his memory at least capable of 
embracing every subject that was brought before it, and his 
own long sorrow was turned into joy."* 

At Agherton a new church had been built, and the old 
one, which is now a ruin, was appropriated as the school for 
the parishioners' children. Within those venerable walls 
Adam pursued his juvenile studies, and now made rapid 
progress in classical and mathematical learning. Waiving, 
however, all further references, for the present, to his intel- 
lectual culture, we will note a few circumstances in his physi- 
cal education, which seem to have been intended by Provi- 
dence to form his constitution for the toils which were destined 
to fill the history of his future years. The mode of living 
to which the family were compelled by their penurious income 
was severely economical. The hungry boy was made thank- 
ful for a supply of the plainest food, and learned, poor youth, 
to become patient under the bodily trials of hunger and 
thirst. In the matter of raiment also, he was but thinly clad, 
and, alter the habits of the rustic folk in Ireland, went fre- 
quently without a covering for the head or feet. The inter- 
vals of school-lessons were filled up by such sports as 'boys 
become familiar with in the country, or were spent more fre- 
quently in hard work in the garden or the fields. To eke out 
the scanty revenue of the school, his lather rented a small 
farm in the neighborhood, which took up much of his spare 
time, and called into exercise the growing strength of his 
two sons. It was a pleasant reminiscence of Dr. Clarke's, 
that his father, more in the spirit of a classical scholar than 
of a plodding matter-of-fact farmer, wished to cultivate his 
grounds upon the principles laid down in the Georgics of 
Virgil. In recording this recollection, the Doctor remarks 

* Autobiography. 


that his father did not appear to have calculated " that the 
agricultural rules of that elegant work were in many respects 
applicable only to the soil and climate of Italy," and that 
"to apply them to a widely different climate, and to a soil 
extremely dissimilar, lat. 55 N., was not likely to bring about 
the most beneficial results." We should think not, and the 
worthy scholar might have gathered such a conclusion from 
the first .lessons of his favorite pastoral : 

"At prius iffttotum ferro quam scindimus sequor, 
Ventos et varittm cceli prmdiscert morem. 
Cur a sit, ae patrios cultusque habitusque locorum; 
Et quid qumque ferat regio, et quid quseque recuset. 
Sic segetes, illic vtniunt fdicius uvx : 
Arborei foetus alibi, atque injussa virescunt 
Gramma. Nonne vides, croceos ut Tmolus odores, 
India mittit ebur, molles sua thura SabseiJ"* 

' But ere we stir the yet unbroken ground. 
The various course of seasons must be found : 
The weather, and the setting of the winds, 
The culture suiting to the various kinds 
Of seeds and plants, and what will thrive and rise, 
And what the genius of the soil denies : 
This ground with Bacchus, that with Ceres suits ; 
That other loads the trees with happy fruits ; 
A fourth with grass unbidden decks the ground. 
Thus Tmolus is with yellow saffron crowned, 
India black ebon and white ivory bears, 
And soft Idume weeps her odorous tears. 
This is th' 'original contract; these the laws 
Imposed by nature, and by nature's Cause." 

In these labors of the mind and body all the lad's natural 
powers were culled into full exercise, and grew with his 
growth. In summer the household were all astir at four in 

*Georg. i. 


the morning, and in winter long before daylight. Each 
season had its appropriate toil, each hour its duty, and the 
hour-glass in the cottage was turned twelve times every day 
before any one in the family was permitted to go to rest. 
Little Adam, if at seven years of age he could do no harder 
work, was able to take care of the cows, and bring them 
home at milking-time. When big enough, he took his part 
in sheep-shearing ; and at twelve he essayed the plough, and 
was thrown among the horses' feet, by the share coming into 
contact with a hidden rock. He was great at peat-cutting, 
and could keep two persons employed in piling and carrying 
the fuel as fast as he digged it. . Nor was he a little proud 
of the strength of hand with which he sent 'the wheat-seed 
broadcast over the furrowed soil. I wonder whether the 
child had any dawning conception, at the time, that these 
employments were symbolical of the labors of distant years, 
in which, having put his. hand to another plough, he would 
be able, with power given from on high, to break up the fallow 
ground of men's hearts, go forth to sow the seed which bears 
its harvests to eternal life, and, as an under-shepherd, tend 
the flock of the Lord's redeemed. 

Hi re is an incident which discovers some shrewdness in a 
boy ten years old : He had been sent by his mother, near 
nightfall, on an errand which required him to cross a waste 
piece of country lying toward the sea, a great part of which 
was a soft marsh. Darkness came on apace, and along with it a 
thick fog. Tn the depths of this mist the boy found himself 
bewildered; and, to increase his uncertainty, an ignis fa tints 
rose up before him, and filled him with no small dismay. 
He retreated, but it followed him. It would not be evaded, 
whether he turned to the right hand or to the left. Mean- 
while, by these attempts to escape from this strange phantom, 
of which he had heard many an ill-omened story, he had 
entirely lost the bearing of the place he was so anxious to 


arrive at; and the bog abounded with dangerous depths, 
into some one of which he knew he might sink the very 
next step. Thus haunted without, by the fairy flame, and 
within, by growing terror, he suddenly heard a strong whir- 
ring sound near him in the air. He had roused a flock of 
wild ducks. He could not see them, but the noise of their 
invisible wings supplied him with the guide he wanted. He 
knew their haunts by the sea; and, conjecturing that they 
would now make for these, resolved to follow in the direction 
they had flown. He was so correct in this judgment as to 
emerge at length from, the bog, within a few yards of the 
house where his errand was to be dune. 

Among the exercises to which he was addicted, horseman- 
ship also afforded him a vast delight. He would sometimes 
ride down to the shore, and, plunging with the animal 
through the surf, breast the waves with a long swim outward. 
Once swimming alone, a considerable distance from the 
shore, he found that he had unintentionally gone out too far, 
and that the tide, which swells there with great force, was 
opposed to his return. He recruited his exhausted strength 
by lying on his back, though at the expense of being carried 
farther away to sea, and then, with the most resolute effort, 
was enabled by the mercy of Providence once more to touch 
the land. 

The neighborhood of the sea afforded him also, and his 
father as well, the profitable pursuits of the fisherman. His 
father was a great lover of the sport, and Adam, whether 
with him or alone, fished in the Moyola and the creeks of the 
Bann; so that often, and especially in the salmon season, the 
table at home smoked with the produce of their healthy and 
legitimate recreations. 

These hardy exercises were not, however, without their 
dangers. On one occasion he was thrown with such violence 
from a horse, as to be taken up for dead ; and on another, 


his life was more nearly lost by drowning. In this latter 
case, it was always his own opinion that life had really 
become extinct, and that he experienced a renewal of earthly 
existence by a return of the soul from the world of spirits. 
It was one morning, when he rode a , mare of his father's 
into the sea, to bathe her. The sea was not rough, and 
the morning very fine; and he thought he might ride 
beyond the breakers, as the shore in that place was 
smooth and flat. The mare went with great reluctance, and 
plunged several times. He urged her forward, and at last 
got beyond the breakers, into the swells : one of these 
coming with terrible force, when it was too late to retreat, 
overwhelmed both rider and horse. There was no person 
in sight, and no help at hand. He said afterward, that he 
seemed to go to the bottom with his eyes open, and then, 
with neither apprehension nor pain, entered on the con- 
sciousness of perfect tranquillity and happiness — not derived, 
indeed, from any thing around him, but from the inward 
state of his own mind. (An account of this singular expe- 
rience was given by Dr. Clarke, long years after, in a 
sermon preached in aid of the Eoyal Humane Society; and 
with more minute particulars in a conversation with the late 
Dr. Letsoiu. The whole is, probably, too well known to 
need transcription here.) A ground-swell bore his apparently 
lifeless body to the shore. The first sensation, when he 
came to life, was as if a spear had been run through his 
heart. He felt this in getting the first draught of fresh air 
when the lungs were merely inflated by the pressure of the 
atmosphere. He found himself sitting in the water, and it 
was by a very swelling wave that he had been put out of the 
way of being overwhelmed by any of the succeeding ones. 
The intense pain at his heart, however, still continued; but 
he had felt no pain from the moment he was submerged till 
the time when his head was brought above water, and the 


air once more entered into his lungs. He saw the mare at 
a considerable distance, walking quite leisurely along the 
shore. How long he was submerged, cannot be precisely 
affirmed; but sufficiently long, in his own ever -retained 
opinion, to have been completely dead, never more to breathe 
in this world, had it not been for that Providence which, as 
it were, once more breathed into him the breath of life, 
and caused him to become once more a living soul. If 
Wesley in his childhood was rescued from the flame, that, 
as "a brand plucked from the burning," he might glorify 
God in a life devoted to his service, Clarke in a yet more 
striking manner was delivered from the flood, that he too 
might in his kindred sphere magnify the same great Pro- 
tector, who has said, " When thou passest through the waters, 
I will be with thee ; and through the rivers, they shall not 
overflow thee : when thou walkest through the fire, thou 
shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee; 
for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy 
Saviour." • 

These short recitals will suffice to indicate the manner of 
Adam Clarke's outward life in the season of his youth ; and 
how Providence was fitting him, by its discipline, for a career 
whioh demanded patience in suffering, and perseverance in 
toil. When far on his way, in the retrospect of this early 
stage of his pilgrimage?, he acknowledged this, and gave 
thanks to God for the hardy manner in which ho had been 
brought up : " My .Heavenly Father saw that I was likely to 
meet with many rude blasts in journeying through life, and 
he prepared me in infancy for the lot he destined for me; so 
that, through his mercy, I have been brought from childhood 
up to hoary hairs. He knew that T must walk alone through 
life, and therefore set me on my feet right early, that I might 
be qualified by practice for the work I was appointed to 




We are admonished by St. Paul, that a work wrought in 
the mind by the Spirit of God can only be understood by 
those who are spiritually-minded. There are men enough, 
not only among the shallow and unlearned, but among the 
erudite and intellectual, to whom the statements we are to 
make in this chapter would seem mere foolishness; while 
the Christian discerns in them the sure and intelligible evi- 
dences of a Divine intervention, and the practical tokens of 
that great redeeming design which has brought our sin- 
infected and perishing nature under an economy of regenerat- 
ing grace. Our present task, however, is not to battle with 
the prejudices of the world, but to give the details of this 
work of mercy in such plain words of truth as may tend to 
edify the believer, and to light the steps of the sincere in- 
quirer to the path of peace. 

The grace of God, which bringeth salvation, dawned upon 
the mind of Adam Clarke with the morning hour of life, 
and preoccupied his heart with a disposition toward the holy 
and the Divine. Some of the child's first thoughts were 

" Thoughts that wander through eternity." 

Let us hear him recount a reminiscence of those first days : 
"Near where Mr. Clarke lived was a very decent orderly 
family of the name of Brooks, who lived on a small farm. 


They had eleven children, some of whom went to Mr. Clarke's 
school : one, called James, was the tenth child, a lovely lad, 
between whom and little Adam there subsisted a strong at- 
tachment. One day, .when walking hand in hand in a field 
near the house, they sat down on the bank, and began to 
enter into a very serious conversation. They both became 
much affected, and this was deepened into exquisite distress 
by the following observations made by little Brooks: '0, 
Addy, Addy, what a dreadful thing is eternity ! and how 
dreadful to be put into hell-fire, and to be burned there for 
ever and ever !' They both wept bitterly, and, as they could, 
begged God to forgive their sins ; and they made to each 
other strong promises of amendment, and departed from each 
other with full and pensive hearts. 

" I was then truly and deeply convinced that I was a sin- 
ner, and liable to eternal punishment, and that nothing but 
the mercy of God could save me from it : though I was riot 
so conscious of any other sin as that of disobedience to my 
parents, which at that time affected me most forcibly. When 
I left my little companion, I went home, told the whole to 
my mo.ther with a full heart, expressing the hope that I should 
never more say any bad words, or refuse to do what she or 
my father might command. She was both surprised and 
affected, and gave me much encouragement, and prayed 
heartily for me. With a glad heart she communicated tho 
information to my father, on whom I could see it did not 
make the same impression ; for he had little opinion of pious 
resolutions in childish minds, though he feared God, and was 
a serious, conscientious churchman. I must own that tho 
way in which he treated it was very discouraging to my mind, 
and served to mingle impressions with my serious feelings 
that were not friendly to their permanence. Yet the im- 
pression, though it grew faint, did not wear away. It was 
laid deep in the consideration of eternity, and of my ao- 


countableness to God for my conduct, and the absolute 
necessity of enjoying his favor, that I might never taste the 
bitter pains of eternal death. Had I had any person to point 
out the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the 
world, I believe I should then have been found as capable of 
repentance and faith (my youth and circumstances considered) 
as I ever was afterwards. But I had no such helper, no 
'messenger,' 'one among a thousand,' who could show man 
his righteousness." 

The neighborhood in which he lived had not at- that time 
the privilege of the plain gospel. The inhabitants were 
chiefly of the Protestant confession, and were pretty equally 
divided between the Established and Presbyterian com- 
munions. The rector of Agherton was the Ilev. Mr. Smith, 
"a good man, full of humanity and benevolence," who 
preached the truth so far as he knew it; "but on the way. 
in'which a sinner is to be reconciled to God, he was either 
not very clear, or was never explicit." On the other hand, 
in the Presbyterian congregation, "the trumpet gave a very 
uncertain sound, as both pastor and people were verging 
closely on Socinianism." We do not wonder, then, that "a 
general forgetfulness of God prevailed in the parish," and 
that " there was scarcely a person in it decidedly pious, 
though there were several that feared God, and but few who 
were grossly profane." 

The religious state of the Clarkes, as a family, partook at 
that time of the general tone. An old friend of theirs, the 
Rev. Henry Moore, speaking of them as he knew them in 
his juvenile days, says : "The family were what is generally 
culled good sort of people, honest people, clearing their way 
by sober industry. They thought they must be good in 
order to go to heaven, and had a wholesome fear of being 
found wicked. They likewise embraced the common forms 
of religion." The schoolmaster of Agherton was a steady 


member of the Episcopal Church, but not strongly awake to 
the importance of vital religion, nor savingly enlightened 
with an experimental knowledge of its consolations and hopes. 
But his worthy and faithful wife, albeit a stranger (like him- 
self) to the refined enjoyments of personal godliness, seems 
to have had a deeper sense than he of the need of that which 
they had not yet attained. Her mind was habitually serious, 
and her whole conduct in the training of the family betokened 
an earnest solicitude for their everlasting welfare. Like 
many other great and good men, Dr. Clarke owed an un- 
speakable debt to his mother for the influence she exerted 
over the formation of his character. Looking back on those 
pristine days, he said on one occasion : " For my mother's 
religious teachings I shall have endless reason to bless my 
Maker." She was the instrument of imprinting on his con- 
science those ethical convictions, which in after-time ger- 
minated, by the grace of God, into great and fruitful virtues. 
She would garnish and fortify her instructions with pithy 
adages, which her children's memories never lost. Was the 
conversation, for example, about the transient nature of this 
life's affairs ? she would conclude with — 

"Thus we may say, Come weal or woe, 
It will not be always so." 

Like the motto that the eastern legend tells us King Solomon 
furnished for a brother monarch, who requested of him some 
sentiment which, inscribed on his ring, should be suited to 
cheer him under misfortune, and to temper his joy in the 
season of prosperity : " This also shall pass away !" 

But the treasury from which our good mother drew her 
choicest gems to enrich the minds of the children, was the 
written word of God ; and in the matter of discipline, and 
the infliction of punishment, it was often found that a text 
of Scripture, well applied, did infinitely better execution than 


the rod. Dr. Clarke says that his mother "had read the 
Bible with great care and much profit. And "if the 

ehildren did wrong at any time, she had recourse to it uni- 
formly to strengthen her reproofs and to deepen conviction. 
With the Scriptures she was bo conversant and ready, that 
there was scarcely any delinquency for the condemnation of 
which she could not find a portion. She seemed to find them 
at the first opening, and would generally say; ' See what God 
has guided my eye to in a moment.' Her own reproofs her 
children could in some measure bear, but when she had re- 
course to the Bible, they were terrified, such an awful sense 
had they of the truth of God's word, and the majesty of 
the Author. Adam one day disobeyed his mother, and the 
disobedience was accompanied with some look or gesture that 
indicated an undervaluing of her authority. This was a high 
affront : she immediately flew to the Bible, and opened on 
these words, which she 'read and commented upon in a most 
awful manner : ' The eye that mocketh his father, and de- 
spiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall 
pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.' The poor 
culprit was cut to the heart, believing the words had been 
sent immediately from heaven. He went out into the field 
with a troubled spirit, and was musing on this horrible de- 
nunciation of Divine displeasure, when the hoarse croak of 
a raven sounded to his conscience an alarm more terrible than 
the cry of fire at midnight. He looked up, and perceived 
the ominous bird, arid, actually supposing it to be the raven 
of which the text spoke, he took to flight with the greatest 

Dr. Clarke imagines that the severe Puritanic creed, which 
his mother had derived from the Scotch Calvinists, led her 
more frequently to represent the Supreme Being as a God of 

* Autobiography. 


justice than as the God of mercy. The consequence was. 
the children dreaded God, and obeyed only through fear. 
Yet, perhaps, this was the way to awaken in the minds of 
the young a sense of responsibility, and an assurance that 
retribution will ever track the footsteps of guilt. 

To the faithful admonitions of this stern but loving in- 
structress, her son ever attributed, under God, that fear of 
the Divine Majesty which prevented him from taking plea- 
sure in sin. " My mother's reproofs and terrors never left me 
till I sought and found the salvation of God. And sin was 
generally so burdensome to me, that I was glad to hear of 
deliverance from it. She had taught me such reverence for 
the Bible, that if I had it in my hand, even for the purpose 
of studying a chapter to repeat as a lesson, and had been 
disposed with my class-fellows to sing, whistle a tune, or be 
facetious, I dared not do either while the book was open in 
my hands. In such cases I always shut it, and laid it down 
beside me. Who will dare to lay this to the charge of super- 
stition V The boy was right : would that all men were like- 
minded ! 

No sight has a greater sacredness and beauty than that of 
a devout mother leading her child to God in prayer. It was 
Adam's privilege to have a mother who could pray for him, 
and with him, and teach him to pray for himself. As soon 
as the children could speak, she taught them, in the Lord's 
Prayer, to call God "Our Father." As they grew older, they 
were instructed to ask. his blessing on their parents and rela- 
tives. The evening devotions of the elder ones included the 
Apostles' Creed, and occasionally a versified Collect, which 
the Doctor remembered to his latest day : 


"Preserve me. Lord, amidst the crowd, 
From every thought that's vain and proud; " 


And raise my wandering mind to see 
How good it is to trust in thee. 
From all the enemies of thy truth, 
Do thou, Lord, preserve my youth ; 
And raise my mind from worldly cares, 
From youthful sins and youthful snares. 
Lord, though my heart 's as hard as stone, 
Let seeds of early grace be sown, 
Still watered by thy heavenly love, 
Till they spring up in joys above." 


" I oo to my bed as to my grave, 
And pray to God my life to save ; 
But, if I die before I wake, 
I pray to God my soul to take. 
Sweet Jesus, now to thee I cry, 
To grant me mercy ere I die ; 
To grant me mercy, and send me peace, 
That heaven may be my dwelling-place." 


"Give to the Father praise, 
And glory to the Son, 
And to the Spirit of his grace 
Be equal honor done." 

These compositions, it must be confessed, are homely- 
enough ; but they were made for home use, whoever wrote 
them. Adam Clarke always entertained a fond attachment 
to thorn. "They contain," said he, "the first breathings 
of my mind towards God ; and even many years after I had 
known his power to my salvation, I continued to repeat them 
as long as I could with propriety use the term youth." 

When, on Sundays, Mrs. Clarke held a little service with 
her children, in addition to a portion of Catechism, she would 


read a chapter, sing part of a psalm, offer a prayer, and then 
fix their minds on some important sentence in the chapter, 
making them repeat the words : a method which secured 
their attention, and imbued their minds more thoroughly with 
the truth. 

"The world," in the sinister import of that term, "the 
flesh," as denoting the bondage of our nature to corrupt pro- 
pensions, and "the devil," as the name for the great tempter 
and accuser of mankind, may, with the man who yields ac- 
quiescent obedience to their impulses, be regarded as words 
only; but he who has begun to struggle against the tide 
which is bearing the other to perdition unawares, and who 
will clean escape their .corruptions, will speedily learn that 
these words are but the names of mighty realities, whose 
antagonism to his salvation he can only overcome by the 
mightier power of God. Now, even in the secluded part of 
Ireland where Adam Clarke was brought up, the world could 
offer him seductions, which, if yielded to, could not have 
failed to enlist him among her votaries, and lead him from 
depth to depth in sin. One form which these temptations 
took was the pleasure he found in the amusement of dancing. 
The years of mere childhood were passed, and he was a 
growing youth. He had learned to play on the violin, and, 
becoming fond of music, joined a class who took lessons from 
a master. There was another in the neighborhood who gave 
lessons in dancing as well as music Adam's master, " willing 
to stand on equal ground with his competitor, proposed to his 
pupils to divide the usual hours into two parts : to teach 
singing in the former, and dancing in the latter. This 
brought him several additional scholars, and the school went 
on much to his advantage. At first Adam deapised this silly 
adjunct to what he always deemed of great importance, and 
for a considerable time took no part in it. At length, through 
much persuasion, his steadfastness was overcome. By long 


looking, the thing began to appear harmless; by and by, 
graceful; and lastly, an elegant accomplishment. It was 
now, 'Cast in your lot with us.' He did so; and, as it was 
always a maxim with him to do whatever he did with his 
might, he bent much of his attention to this, and soon 
became superior to most of his schoolfellows. Formerly he 
went to the school for the sake of the singing, now he went most 
for the sake of the dancing : leaving his understanding unin- 
fluenced, it took fast hold of his passions. If prevented at 
any time from going, he felt uneasy, sometimes vexed, and 
often cross ; his temper in such cases being rarely under his 
own control." 

11 Mala ave," says he, "when about thirteen years of age, 
I learned to dance. I long resisted all solicitations to it, 
but at last I suffered myself to be overcome, and learnt 
and profited beyond most of my fellows. I grew passionately 
fond of it; would scarcely walk but in measured time, and 
was constantly tripping, moving, and shuffling, in all times 
and places. I began now to value myself, which, as far as 
I can recollect, I had never thought of before. I grew 
impatient of control, became fond of company, wished to 
mingle more than I had ever done with young people. I 
got, also, a passion for better clothing than that which fell 
to my lot in life, and was discontented when I found a 
neighbor's son dressed better than myself. I lost the spirit 
of subordination, did not love work, imbibed a spirit of idle- 
ness, and, in .short, drank in all the brain-sickening effluvia 
of pleasure. Dancing and company tonic the place of 
reading and study; and the authority of my parents was 
feared indeed, but not respected. And lew serious impres- 
sions could prevail in a mind imbued now with frivolity. 
Yet I entered into no disreputable assembly, and in no one 
case ever kept any improper company. Nevertheless, 
dancing was with me a perverting influence, an unmixed 


moral evil ; for, although by the mercy of God it led me not 
to depravity of manners, it greatly weakened the moral 
principle, drowned the voice of conscience, and was the first 
cause of impelling me to seek my happiness in this life. 
Every thing yielded to the disposition it had produced, and 
every thing was absorbed by it. I have it justly in abhor- 
rence, for the moral injury it did me; and I can testify, (as 
far as my own observations have extended, and they have 
had a pretty wide range,) I have known it to produce the 
same evil in others. I consider it, therefore, as a branch of 
that worldly education which leads from heaven to earth, 
from things spiritual, to things sensual, and from God to 
Satan. Let them plead for it who will ; I know it to be evil, 
and that only. They who bring up their children in this 
way, or send them to those schools where dancing is taught, 
are consecrating them to the service of Moloch, and culti- 
vating the passions so as to cause them to bring forth the 
weeds of a fallen nature with an additional rankncss, deep- 
rooted inveteracy, and inexhaustible fertility. Nemo sobrius 
saltat, " No man iu his senses will dance," wrote Cicero, a 
heathen. Shame on those Christian parents who advocate a 
cause by which many sons have become profligate, and many 
daughters have been ruined."* 

This temptation, however, had not a lasting power; and 
before he was fifteen years of age, he had got entirely free 
from the dangerous snare. His love of mental cultivatiou 
returned with greater force; and that vigor of intelleot 
which gave such a character to his future life began now to 
move him with impulses after knowledge which throbbed on 
with his life, and kindled that unquenchablo desire that led 

* Autobiography. — See, too, a paper written on this subject by 
Dr. Clarke, in the Arniinian Magazine for 1792; reprinted in his 
Miscellaneous Works. 

40 L I F J£ O i' T II E 

him to separate himself to intermeddle with all wisdom. 
From a mere child, he had been a great reader of tales and 
books of imagination suited to his years ; for some of which 
— as the History of the Seven Wise Masters, the Seven 
Champions of Christendom, Robinson Crusoe, the Peruvian 
Tales, and the Thousand and One Nights — he always main- 
tained a kind of grateful affection, not only for the entertain- 
ment they had given him, but for the strength they had 
imparted to his mental instinct to seek pleasure in the region 
of the intellect, and the communion they had opened to him 
with things that lie beyond the immediate province of the 
senses. But now, with the enlargement of his mind, he felt 
the need of a higher and more congenial aliment, and a 
satisfying acquaintance with the realities of truth. But, for 
want of a proper guide, he was even here in danger of 
taking a wrong track at the outset. With a mind character- 
istically eager in investigation, he was not content to read 
such books as expounded the outward phenomena of nature, 
but longed to penetrate, also, the arcana of the spiritual 
world. He had a notion that it was possible to attain such 
a knowledge of those unseen agencies which reveal their 
effects in the appearances of the outward world, as would 
enable the possessor of it to wield those agencies according 
to his own will; that men once lived who had won this 
secret, and that some might even then be living who enjoyed 
it. He had heard that among the gipsies many vestiges of 
this precious lore were handed down from father to son; 
and, learning that a wandering party of that singular people 
had pitched their little camp at a distance of some miles, 
he sallied forth in quest of them. After some ingratiating 
talk, he told them what he had come for. The conversation 
which followed was highly satisfactory; for he found, to his 
great joy, that they had at least a great part of a book, for 
a sight of which he had been devoured by desire — the 


Occult Philosophy of Cornelius Agrippa. The gipsies were 
not disposed to part with these precious sibylline leaves, 
but gave him full permission to read them on the spot, and 
make whatever extracts he pleased. Adam made full proof 
of his opportunity ; and day by day, so long as the wanderers 
haunted that part of the country, he might have been seen 
in their out-of-the-way retreat, with ink-bottle and note-book, 
appropriating in unspeakable eagerness the hieratic secrets 
of the great master. The pleasure afforded by these excur- 
sions was enhanced by the memory of a sore disappointment 
he had undergone some time before, when, being informed 
that a certain schoolmaster who lived many miles away had 
a copy of Cornelius Agrippa in his library, he made a 
pilgrimage for the purpose of borrowing it, or, at least, of 
inspecting it, but met with a decisive refusal. On that 
occasion, (we mention it to show the lad's eagerness in this 
pursuit,) his mother had attempted to dissuade him from 
going, as the distance was great, and the way unknown. 
" Never fear, mother," said he; "I shall find it well enough." 
" But you will be so weary by the time you get there, that 
you will not have strength to return." To which he answered, 
" Never fear, mother : if I can get there, and get the book, I 
hope to get as much out of it as will bring me home without 
touching the ground." 

On the influence which these early impulses had upon 
his mind in following years, we shall have to write hereafter. 
But, even at this inexperienced period of life, his own good 
sense, and a reverential fear of being guilty of what was 
unlawful in the sight of God, tamed in his soul the inordinate 
desire after a species of knowledge which is either forbidden, 
or injurious to him who employs it, when obtained. A 
paper he read in an odd volume of the Athenian Oracle, 
which he met with about that time, made a wholesome 
impression on his mind, and contributed to set it in a moro 


profitable direction. He had quieted some misgivings on 
the subject of spiritual incantations by the thought, that 
what was done in these ways was done with reference to, 
and dependence on, the power of God. By his terrible 
name all spirits were to be invoked, employed, bound, or 
loosed. But the writer in the Athenian Oracle, to the 
question, "Is that magic lawful whose operations are per- 
formed in the name of God, and by solemn invocations of 
his power V gave, by way of answer in the negative, the 
quotation from the Gospel where our Lord has declared, 
" Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not 
j>rophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out 
devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works ? And 
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you : depart 
from me, ye that work iniquity." Warned off, then, from 
this enchanted ground, Adam betook himself, though (it 
must be confessed) not without some lingering and looking 
back, into the more open and honest fields of actual know- 
ledge. In the excellent works of Bay, on the Wisdom of 
God in the Creation, and of Derham, on Astro-Theology, he 
found a clue to the true physico-theology, and was led by 
those great masters " from nature up to nature's God." 
lie sought the Eternal, where, in one of his ways of revela- 
tion, he is willing to make himself known — namely, in his 
works. Though not at that time in the language of one who 
became a favorite sage in other years, he could yet say with 
him in effect, "Waken my faculties to behold tlice, and to 
gaze, with the vision of the heart, on thy grandeurs; and 
teach me to make known thy wondrous acts; for I see thy 
name in the works of thy hands. The heavens are moving 
in lines of measure, the spheres revolve in their orbits, 
among them the earth has her abiding-place ; she is sus- 
pended by the bands of thy love. The sun shining in his 
might, the moon pouring silver streams as from a fountain, 


clusters of stare like flowers in a garden, the outspread 
pavilion of the skies, and the variegated landscapes of the 
world, all speak of thy deep wisdom."* Thu3 the things 
that are seen became to him a heart-stirring memento of the 
ever-present Deity. The heavens at night spoke, and told 
him how great is God ; the spheres sang ; the deep down on 
the shore, as he stood on the rocks, was heard lifting up a 
voice in the great chorus. " His praise the winds, that 
from four quarters blew, breathed soft or loud;" and the 
pine-woods waved their tops, with every plant, in sign of 
worship. Already the future commentator was musing on 
that tert, " The invisible things of him from the creation of 
the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things 
that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead." 

But the time was at hand when he should no longer stand 
wondering in the outer court of the Great Unseen, but be 
admitted within the temple of salvation, and worship and 
serve Him with them who have access to the Deity himself: 
for God, who commanded light, to shine out of darkness, was 
about to shine into his heart, to give him to behold his glory 
in the face of Jesus Christ. We have had occasion to allude 
to the low state of religion in the neighborhood where Adam 
Clarke then lived ; but it was by no means so bad as that 
which was found in many other parts of the three kingdoms, 
A much deeper ignorance shrouded the myriads of the Irish 
Catholic population : nor were the peasantry of England 
more enlightened ; while, in the more crowded towns and 
cities, vice and immorality prevailed in frightful measures. 
On the Continent the state of things was infinitely worse. 

* Abbh Esba : Sephardim Macha2or. — Compare the beautiful words 
of Schiller: " His name ought to lie in secret behind every one of 
our thoughts, and speak to us from every object of nature ; for us 
this bright majestio universe itself should be but as the shining 
jewel, on which his image, and only his, should stand engraved." 


European Christendom had reached the zero of apostasy; 
Voltairism had come like an evil blast upon the people ; and 
the shadow of atheism fell, colder than death, upon the 
millions. But God was now revealing in our land his signal 
mercy. There was the voice of one crying in the desert, 
"Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The gos- 
pel had become a freshly-uttered oracle from heaven. The 
sower had gone forth to sow : the Sun of righteousness, 
breaking through the clouds, shed healing beams ; and the 
showers of heavenly influence gathered over his path. 
Wesley was then fulfilling his course, and approaching, 
indeed, the consummation of that illustrious career in which 
he had been made the instrument of wondrous good, not 
only in our island-home, but across the ocean too, in the dis- 
tant lands of the West. The agencies of Methodism were 
becoming more extensive and more patent every year ; and, 
in the order of a merciful Providence, some of the devoted 
men who toiled in the great work were led to visit the ham- 
lets and villages of the north of Ireland. 

The Clarkes had hitherto known nothing of these men. 
A stray anecdote of one of them, which Adam met with in a 
newspaper, gave him the first intimation of their existence. 
One day it was rumored in the neighborhood that there 
would be preaching that evening at a farm-place, called 
Burnside ; a barn, with a cottage attached to it. Adam 
went, along with a companion of his, a son of Counsellor 
O'Neil. It was now that he saw for the first time a Method- 
ist preacher — a tall thin man, with serious-looking counte- 
nance, and long hair.* Adam heard the sermon with inward 
reasonings, and not without some feeling. His mind seemed 
to be drawn to the man ; and, when the service was over, he 
lingered near him. The preacher turned, and with deep solem- 

* John Brettell. 


nity extorted him to give himself to God. Adam was so far 
impressed as to wish to hear this doctrine more largely. He 
seized the first occasion, and heard Mr. Brettell again. The 
text was. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." The 
effect of tkis sermon was to show him that the consequence 
of slighting the call of mercy would be everlasting ruin. 
Meanwhile the preachers stationed at Coleraine had made 
arrangements for regularly visiting that neighborhood as a 
part of their circuit ; and Mr. Brettell was followed by Mr. 
Thomas Barber, a truly apostolic man, under whose ministry 
a multitude of people in various parts of the country had 
been awakened to repentance. Mrs. Clarke herself was now 
induced to attend. She heard, and immediately pronounced, 
"This is the doctrine of the Reformers: this is true and 
unadulterated Christianity." The Ld*rd had opened her 
heart to receive his truth, and she forthwith opened her 
dwelling to its messengers, where, from time to time, they 
found a welcome resting-place, and brought the blessing of 
their Master with them ; for salvation came to that house. 
Mrs. Clarke now joined the newly-formed society. As for 
Adam, though not violently affected, he had become seriously 
bent on the salvation of his soul. Anxious to hear the gos- 
pel at every opportunity, he rose at four in the morning to 
complete his day's work, so as to be able to go here and there 
in the evening to listen to the word ; and his chief study 
now, in the intervals he could spare from toil, was the ex- 
amination of what he heard by the test of the written word 
of God — "searching the Scriptures daily, whether these 
things were so." In short, he had now matriculated in the 
school of Jesus Christ, in which alone the divine or the 
Christian can be formed ; and he sat at the feet of a Master 
who could make him wise to salvation. His Scripture-read- 
ing had hitherto been desultory ; but ho now began to read 
the New Testament regularly through, and that with deep 


attention and earnest prayer. One consequence was, his 
mind became enlightened to comprehend the analogy of the 
faith : the great redeeming plan, so harmonious with itself 
and with all truth. From these oracles of the living God he 
learned his creed, and never changed it. Another and yet 
more important consequence was, he was gradually enabled 
to lay hold upon the truth, thus revealed, with that faith of 
the heart which made him a new creature. The Spirit was 
working his great work of mercy in his soul ; convincing 
him of sin, righteousness, and judgment; awakening him 
alike to a sense of guilt, and a despair of escaping its punish- 
ment, if left to his own bankrupt .resources. "All his past 
diligence, prayer, reading, and so forth, now appeared as 
nothing : multitudes of evils, which before were undiscovered, 
were now pointed out to his conscience as with a sunbeam. 
He was filled with confusion and distress ; wherever he 
looked, he saw nothing but himself. The light which pene- 
trated his mind led him into all the chambers of the house 
of imagery ; and everywhere he saw idols set up in opposition 
to the worship of the true God. He wished to flee from 
himself, and looked with envy on stocks and stones ; for they 
had not ofi'ended a just God, and were 'incapable of bearing 
his displeasure. 

"The season was summer time. The fields were in their 
beautiful dress; the flocks and herds browsed in the pas- 
tures, and the bird$ carolled in the sky and in the woods ; 
but his eyes and ears were no longer inlets to pleasure. In 
po>nt of gratification, nature was to him a universal blank, 
for he felt himself destitute of the image and approbation of 
his Maker; and besides this consciousness there seemed to 
be needed no other to complete his misery. He said, with one 
of old, < that I knew where I might find him, that I might 
come even to his seat ! Behold, I go forward, but he is 
not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him; on 


the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold 
him j hfc hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot 
see him.'"* 

Let us not be told here any thing about moody melancholy 
or ignorant fanaticism. There is not a vestige of fanaticism 
in the case. Here is a young man of education, sound in 
health, steady in nerves, vigorous in intellect, and, so far as 
outward morality is concerned, of well-regulated and virtuous 
habits of life ; but thoughtful betimes of the great question 
which, sooner or later, shakes every human soul, How can a 
fallen sinner be reconciled to God ? The Bible is in his hand, 
and the light of the Holy Spirit shining in his conscience. 
Can we wonder, then, at his solicitude? He had within 
himself a dread sense of wrongness before his Divine Judge ; 
and the all-absorbing care of his heart was, " How can I be 
set right ?" Was not this a rational inquiry ? Who is the 
insane fanatic — the man who in these circumstances, common 
to us all, asks the question, " What must I do to be saved ?" 
or he who wilfully ignores it ? 

He who would be saved feels the need of the Saviour; 
and whatever interferes with the clear view of the Divine 
majesty and power of the adorable Being who is revealed in 
the gospel in that most blessed character, will interfere with 
that man's salvation. With such an obstacle Adam Clarke 
had just now to contend, through painful doubts on the 
Divinity of Jesus Christ, which some Unitarian acquaintances 
of his had thrown upon his mind. But in his well-read New 
Testament he had the infallible antidote to this evil, and he 
overcame it. .He found also some help to faith in partaking 
for the first time of the holy communion ; but still he could 
not lay hold on the promises of God, bo as to be delivered 
from those fears of perdition which sometimes rose within 

* Autobiography. 


him like an agony. In after-days he saw the value and pur- 
pose of those exercises. "It was necessary that I should 
have hard travail. God was preparing me for an important 
work. I must emphatically sell all to get the pearl of great 
price. If I had lightly come by the consolations of the gos- 
pel, I might have let them go as lightly. It was good that I 
bore the yoke in my youth. The experience that I learned 
in my long tribulation was none of the least of my qualifi- 
cations as a minister of the gospel." 

At length, however, the day of deliverance, the " time of 
finding,"* came. He had been brought to that point in 
which, had it been longer delayed, the spirit that God had 
made would have failed before him. We shall be most sure 
in giving the recital in his own words : — 

" One morning, in great distress of soul, he went out to 
his work in the field. He began, but could not proceed, so 
great was his mental anguish. He fell down on his knees on 
the earth, and prayed ; but seemed to be without power or 
faith. He arose and endeavored to work, but could not; 
even bis physical strength seemed to have departed from 
him. He again endeavored to pray ; but the gates of hea- 
ven appeared as if barred against him. His faith in the 
atonement, so far as it concerned himself, was almost en- 
tirely gone; he could not believe that Jesus had died for 
him; the thickest darkness seemed to gather round and 
settle on his soul. He fell flat on his face on the earth, 
and endeavored to pray, but still there was no answer: he 
arose, but he was so weak that he could scarcely stand. His 
agonies were indescribable : he seemed to be for ever sepa- 
rated from God and the glory of his power. Death, in any 
form, he could have preferred to his present feelings, if that 
death could put an end to them. No fear of hell produced 

* Psalm xxxii. 6, margin. 


those terrible conflicts. He had not God's approbation ; he 
had not God's image. He felt that without a sense of his 
favor he could not live. Where to go, what to say, and what 
to do, he found not: even the words of prayer at last 
failed; he could neither plead nor wrestle with God. 
It is said, the time of man's extremity is the time of God's 
opportunity. He now felt strongly in his soul, ' Pray to 
Christ :' another word for, ' Come to the Holiest through the 
blood of Jesus.' He- looked up, confidently, to the Saviour 
of sinners. His agony subsided, his soul became calm. A 
glow of happiness thrilled through his frame : all guilt and 
condemnation were gone. He examined his conscience, and 
found it no longer a register of sins against God. He 
looked to heaven, and all was sunshine ; he searched for his 
distress, but could not find it. He felt indescribably happy, 
but could not tell the cause : a change had taken place 
within him of a nature wholly unknown before, and for 
which he had no name. He sat down upon the ridge where 
he had been working, full of ineffable delight. He praised 
God. His physical strength returned, and he could bound 
like a roe. He had felt a sudden transition from darkness 
to light, from guilt and oppressive fear to confidence and 
peace. He could now draw nigh to God with more confi- 
dence than he could to his earthly father : he had freedom 
of access, and freedom of speech. He was like a person 
who had got into a new world, where, although every object 
was strange, yet each* was pleasing ; and now he could mag- 
nify God for his creation, a thing he never could do before. 
0, what a change was here ! and yet, lest he should be 
overwhelmed with it, its name and its nature were in a great 
measure hidden from his eyes. Shortly after this, Mr. Bar- 
ber came to his father's house : when he departed, Adam 
accompanied him a little on the way. When they came in 
sight of the field that had witnessed the agonies of his 


heart, and the breaking of his chains, he told Mr. Barber 
what had taken place. The man of God took off his hat, 
and, with tears flowing down his cheeks, gave thanks to God. 
' 0, Adam,' said he, ' I rejoice in this. I have been in daily 
expectation that God would shine upon your soul, and bless 
you with the adoption of his children.' Adam stared at 
him, and said within himself, ' G, he thinks, surely, that I 
am justified, that God has forgiven my sins, that I am now 
his child. 0, blessed be God, I believe, I feel I am justi- 
fied, through the redemption that is in Jesus.' Now he 
clearly saw what God had done ; and though he had felt the 
blessing before, and was happy in the possession of it, it was 
only now that he could call it by its name. Now he saw and 
felt, that 'being justified by faith, he had peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom he had received 
the atonement.' 

" lie continued in peace all the week; The next Lord's 
day there was a lovefeast in Colcraine : he went to it, and 
during the first prayer kneeled in a corner, with his face to 
the wall. While praying, the Lord Jesus seemed to appear 
to the eyes of his mind, as he is described, Rev. i. 13, 14, 
' clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the 
papa with a golden girdle; his head and his hair white as 
snow, and his eyes like a flame of fire.' And, though in 
strong prayer before, he suddenly stopped, and said, though 
not perhaps in a voice to lie heard by those who were by him, 
' Come nearer, Lord Jesus !' Immediately he felt as if 
(Jod had shone upon the work lie had wrought, and called it 
by its own name. He fully and clearly knew that he was a 
child of God; the Spirit bore this witness in his conscience, 
and he could no more have doubted of it, than he could of 
the reality of his own existence. 

" ' Meridian evidence put doubt to flight.' "* 
* Autobiography. 


.Adam Clarke, having thus found the liberty of God's 
children, felt a powerful instinct in his heart to enjoy com- 
munion with them of whom he could now say, " Their 
Father is my Father; and their God, my God." He 
accordingly lost no time in becoming a member of the 
Methodist Society; thus, at once, giving his heart to God, 
and his hand to his cause and people. Some months before, 
he had accompanied his mother to her class-meeting, but was 
not at that time in such a state of mind as to render the 
manner in which the hour was spent sufficiently attractive to 
induce him to repeat the visit. Now, a great change had 
been wrought in this respect also ; for his heart had become 
as theirs, and his name took its place in their registries, to 
abide in them for ever.* This was the right procedure. Had 
he remained aloof from the Church, as too many do in simi- 
lar cases, he, as they do, would have deprived himself of a 
Divinely-appointed means of succor for the mind in the 
temptations of life, and would probably have failed, after all, 
of the grace of God. But he looked at the Christian 
Church as a Divine institution, and felt it his duty to God, 
to man, and to himself, to be identified with it. And to 
•what part of it should he so naturally unite himself as to 
that which had been the means of his conversion? And in 
doing this, it was the steadfast conviction of his long life, ho 
had done rightly. Unlike the weak-minded and worldly, he 
was not to be warned off from the fulfilment of a grand duty 
by the vain bugbear of a name On the contrary, if there 
were any reproach in bearing the name of " Methodist," he 

* He gives an important testimony, in one of hiB letters, to tlio 
value of class-meetings: — "When I met in class, I learned more in 
a week than I had learned before in a month. I understood the 
preaching better; and getting acquaintance with my own heart, and 
hearing the experience of God's people, I soon got acquainted with 
God himself." 


was the more willing to bear it for the love which now 
reigned in his heart to Him who was called the Nazarene. 

I have before me an autograph memorandum inserted on 
the title-page of his old copy of the Minutes of Conference, 
in these words: "I joined Society in the year of our Lord 
1778, at Mullihical, near Coleraine. Adam Clarke." If 
born in 1760, he must, therefore, at the time of these trans- 
actions, have been in his eighteenth year. We doubt not 
that the alliance he was then enabled to make with the dis- 
ciples of Christ helped to preserve him from the seductions 
of the world, which become at that period so potent to the 
young, as well as to confirm his best tendencies to insure his 
final salvation, and meanwhile to introduce his uncertain 
steps into a pathway which led to a great and good career. 
And so long as he found pleasantness and peace in the com- 
pany of them whose "fellowship" was "with the Father, 
and with his Son Christ Jesus," he was led by the same 
Spirit, and enabled to maintain his confidence in the mercy 
which had forgiven him. The witness of the Divine Com- 
forter proved not a transient but a perennial grace. He had 
come to abide; and the day-star had risen upon his heart 
with an unsetting light, to bring that knowledge of salvation 
through the remission of sins which became the strength, the 
glory, and the joy of his life ; " a staff when he was weary, 
a spring when he was thirsty, a screen when the sun burned 
him, a pillow in death." 




The love of God, when kindled in the heart, burns into a 
flame which reveals itself in our life. When Christ said to 
his disciples, " Ye shall be my witnesses," he pronounced the 
words of a moral law which has been a binding one in his 
people's conscience ever since. The constraining impulses 
of this principle began now to move in the breast of Adam 
Clarke, and urged him to make known the Saviour he had 
found. He began with those nearest to himself, and made 
the circle of his own domestic life the first sphere of his 
evangelic efforts. Family worship, except on Sundays, had 
fallen among them into desuetude. He stated to them his 
convictions about the necessity of observing this duty, but 
without avail, unless he himself would perform it. The diffi- 
dence of a modest youth rendered this a formidable task, but 
it had been so laid upon his conscience that he dared not 
shrink. "At last he took up this to him tremendous cross, 
and prayed with his father, mother, and family. And as long 
as he was under their roof he was. in this respect, their chap- 
lain. Yet he ever felt it a cross, though God gave him power 
to bear it. A prayerless family has God's curse. If the 
parents will not perform family prayer, if there be a converted 
child, it devolves on him ; and should he refuse, he will soon 
lose the comforts of religion." 


The influence of his holy life soon began to show its effects 
in the more serious spirit of his relatives. The Bible was 
more read, and private prayer resorted to. Hannah, his 
fourth sister, soon joined the Society, and lived to be one ef 
its ornaments, at Bristol, when the wife of that eminent 
scholar and "true-hearted servant of God, the late Thomas 
Exley, M.A. The eldest sister soon took the same course. 
This lady was afterwards united in marriage with the Rev. 
Dr. Johnson, rector of St. Perrans Uthnoe, Cornwall. In 
short, most of the family became hearers of the word among 
the Methodists, and ultimately members of that communion. 

Outside *of this circle, the next objects of his solicitude 
were his old schoolfellows and companions. He reasoned 
with them in their social intercourse, and prevailed on some 
of them to go with him and hear the word of God. Here, 
too, he had some first-fruits of usefulness, and among these 
youthful comrades, whose friendship was strengthened and 
purified by the sanctities of religion, was one who himself 
became a preacher. This was Andrew Coleman, a young man 
of good education and great promise, of whom Clarke had 
afterwards the sacred task of writing a beautiful biography, 
which was published in the Methodist Memorial. 

These incipient efforts soon took a wider range. He now 
filled up his occasional hours of leisure in going from house 
to house, and from village to village, doing, in his simple 
way, and from sheer love to the souls of the people, the work 
of a Scripture-reader and home-missionary. The Sunday he 
would entirely devote to this work, and he made full proof 
of his opportunity. He had undertaken to lead a class at a 
place six miles away from home, and this at an early hour, 
which required him in winter to set out two hours before 
daylight. When this was done, he would go to a neighbor- 
ing village, and, entering the first open door, say, " Peace be 
to this house," and inquire if they were willing that he should 


hold a short religious service with them and such of their 
neighbors as would like to come in. Having done so, (and 
he rarely met with a refusal,) he proceeded to another village, 
and so labored through the day. Thus, while "not slothful 
in business," but more diligent than ever in the farm and the 
school, and in the earnest study of the classics, the French 
language, and the practical mathematics, he was " fervent in 
spirit, serving the Lord." We have here, coming out more 
and more distinctly to our view, the types of that character 
which the Church and the world have since looked upon with 
undissembled admiration. Does any young man wish to 
know the sure way to prosperity and greatness ? He will 
find it if he track the footsteps of Adam Clarke. 

The zeal of our young convert extended to every thing in 
his power to help the cause of religion. A congregation 
having been raised at Upper Mullihical, the want of some 
place to meet in was greatly felt. The people, led on by 
Adam, resolved to build one for themselves, and in the manual 
labor of the undertaking he took no inconsiderable part. 
Many years after, when opening a chapel at Halifax, he said, 
" It has been one of the most pleasurable feelings of my life, 
in connection with the worship of God, that I have an inter- 
est in a place reared to his honor, by having helped to build 
it. The good people fixed upon having a chapel near the 
place where my father resided. I loved God, and rejoiced 
in the prosperity of his work. My father allowed me to take 
his own horse and 'cart, and to and from the cart I carried 
stones nearly twice the size of what ought to have been lifted 
by me in proportion to my strength ; but I seemed inspired 
on the occasion, and if any person had offered me twenty 
thousand pounds for every- twenty pound of stone I carried, 
as an inducement to abandon the. work, I would have rejected 
the proposal with contempt." 

Meanwhile, the question as to his future vocation in life 

0(5 LIFE Of THE 

■was becoming at home more pressing every day. His father 
had always a kind of presentiment that Adam would be a 
clergyman of some order or other. His own predilections 
would, of course, have chosen for his son the office to which 
he had himself aspired in early life — that of the ministry of 
the Established Church ; but the influence of his own disap- 
pointment, and the scanty resources of the family, combined 
to paralyze any effort to fit him for it at the University. At 
the same time Mr. Bennett, a relative, who carried on an ex- 
tensive linen-trade in Coleraine, made him a liberal offer to 
receive Adam into his establishment, which, in the wavering 
state of Mr. Clarke's will, gave the casting decision to it to 
devote his son to the pursuits of commerce. Adam, as an 
obedient son, yielded his assent, though without any faith in 
the enterprise, as he felt no response to it in his own mind, 
and could not divest himself of an ever-strengthening convic- 
tion that God had designed him for a more spiritual career. 
However, to Coleraine he went, and, though he did not be- 
come a linen -merchant, he gave proof, during the eleven 
months spent under Mr. Bennett's roof, that in his young 
relative that gentleman had a diligent and conscientious ser- 
vant, but one who, at the same time, from the peculiar habi- 
tudes of his mind, was not the best fitted for the customs and 
speculations of mercantile life. The employment, moreover, 
was not congenial with his physical constitution. Health 
drooped, and his memory became strangely oblivious. Every 
thing within and without him seemed to indicate that he was 
not in his proper place. His religious diligence did not flag : 
he was earnest in reproving sin, and the Lord made him 
useful in the conversion of sinners, as in the case of a wicked, 
blaspheming domestic of his master's, and others in the town. 
He sought to promote the work of God among the people in 
Coleraine; helping the morning preacher by going round 
before five o'clock with a bell, to give them a riveil for the 


house of prayer, and on Sabbath-days taking his now accus- 
tomed part in the work of exhortation in the villages. The 
pious and intelligent society in the town took knowledge of 
him, and learned to love him for his work's sake. They con- 
sidered "the end of his conversation," Jesus Christ ever the 
same : they appreciated his strong native talent and educa- 
tional advantages, and expressed their conviction that his 
true predestined calling was not the Irish linen-trade, but 
the gospel ministry. This tended to strengthen the latent 
bias of his own mind, and gave a more distinct pronunciation 
to the voice which was bidding him to be free from the en- 
tanglements of the world, that he might become a soldier of 
Jesus- Christ. On the other hand, Mr. Bennett's esteem for 
him was shown in a kind offer, that, if he did not like his 
business, he would advance him money to enter upon another, 
at the same time recommending the trade in Irish produce 
(butter, hides, and tallow) to England. But the die had 
been virtually cast: he was to be "a merchantman" who 
should seek " goodly pearls" in souls for ever saved. Equally 
futile was the other alternative, to become, like his father, a 
tiller of the ground: he was to "go forth, bearing" more 
<? precious seed," and "gather fruit unto life eternal." The 
issue of this episode of his life was, that he and Mr. Bennett 
parted with mutual affection and lasting respect, and Adam 
returned to the farm-house at Agherton. 

Providence now spoke at once. The superintendent, Mr. 
Bredin, enlisted him as an occasional helper in the circuit. 
On going forth on his first expedition, a journey of thirty 
miles, he tells us that, "just before he set out, early on the 
Monday morning, he took up his Bible, and said, 'Lord, 
direct me to some portion of thy word that may be to me a 
subject of useful meditation on the way.' " He then opened 
the book, and the first words that met his eyes were these : 
" Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained 

58 LITE 01 THE 

you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your 
fruit should remain ; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the 
Father in my name, he may give it you." John xv. 16. This 
word gave him great encouragement, and he went on his way 
rejoicing. When he came to the city, Mr. Bredin desired him 
to go the next night and supply his place at a village called 
New Buildings, about five miles from Deny. To this he 
agreed. "But," says Mr. Bredin, "you must preach to the 
people." " I will do the best I can," says Adam, " with God's 
help." "But," says Mr. Bredin, "you must take a text, and 
preach from it." "That I cannot undertake," said Adam. 
"You must and shall," said Mr. Bredin. "I will exhort as 
usual, but cannot venture to take a text." "Well, a text 
you must take, for the people will not be satisfied without it. 
A good exhortation is a sermon, and you may as well have a 
text as not." To this authority, he was obliged, for the pre- 
sent, to bow, though he went with rather a perplexed than a 
heavy heart. "I will go," thought he to himself: "I can 
only bring back the tidings that I went, tried, failed, and 
brought a disgrace upon Methodism." He arrived near the 
place a good while before the .time, and, not knowing any 
one, strolled on the bank of the, so depressed and mel- 
ancholy as to lie down on the grass and weep. He tried to 
obtain relief in prayer, and then had recourse to his Bible. 
While reading, he was forcibly struck with the words, " We 
know that we are of God," upon which he felt his mind could 
fasten, as the text he wanted. Just as he had risen from the 
grass, a man passed, of whom he inquired for the place of 
preaching occupied by the. Methodists. "He asked, 'Are 
you the preacher V Adam answered that he had been sent 
in that capacity by Mr. Bredin. The man measured him 
apparently with his eye from head to foot, and then, in a tone 
of despondency mingled with surprise, said, 'You are a young 
one to unravel the word !' " 


It was on that evening, June 19th, 1782, that he preached 
his first sermon. The text was the passage that had 
made the impression on his mind in the field, 1 John v. 19 : 
"We know that we are»of God, and the whole world lieth 
in wickedness ;" from which he extemporized a discourse 
on the following topics : — 1. That the world lies in wicked- 
ness : proved by appeals to the state of man's nature, and 
the actual condition of human society. 2. That it is only 
by the power of God that men are saved from this state 
of corruption; those who are converted being converted by 
him : " We are of God." 3. Those who are converted know 
it; not only from its outward effects in their lives, but 
from the change made in their hearts : " We know that we 
are of God." 

When we look at this logical and striking distribution 
of the subject, we are not surprised to find that " the 
people seemed gratified, and gathered round him when he 
had finished, and entreated him to preach to them at five the 
next morning, at a place a mile or so off, where many 
gathered together, to whom he explained and applied 1 John 
iv. 19 : " We love him, because he first loved us." 

After a fortnight's work, he returned home, with a 
strong persuasion in his mind that God had called him to 
preach his word; and that the verse to which he was 
directed on his outset was the evidence of a call which he 
had graciously given him. Whatever some persons may 
think of them, these Convictions were sacred to the young 
man's heart, and the issues of his life have abundantly proved 
that they were not fallacious. 

Some time before this, Mr. Bredin, believing that Adam 
Clarke was so called of God to tho ministry, had written 
about him to Mr. Wesley, who, in reply, offered to take him 
to tho school he had established at Kingswood, near Bristol ; 
where he might increase his classical knowledge, and, by 


occasional pulpit exercises, become more fully prepared for 
the work. He had not long returned from Derry, when an- 
other letter arrived from Mr. Wesley to Mr. Bredin, appoint- 
ing the latter to an English circuit, and directing that he 
should bring Adam Clarke with him. 




The life which was unfolding its perspective to our 
young preacher could have attractions only to one who, 
having counted all things but loss for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ Jesus, could find no peace or honor or 
joy, but in doing the unearthly work of turning the sinner 
from the error of his ways, and saving the soul from death. 
This was a labor which, in a worldly point of view, would 
bring him no return. He had, indeed, respect to a recom- 
pense of reward, but it lay beyond the horizon of time; 
and the life he was to live meanwhile, he could then 
view only as one of toil and martyrdom. But none of these 
things moved him, neither counted he his life dear to him, 
so that he might fulfil his course, and the ministry he had 
received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace 
of God_ 

Such was the lofty principle which reigned in the breast 
of the lone young man, who, on the 17th of August, 1782, 
stood on the deck of a vessel bound from Londonderry to 
England. As to outward appearance, though something 
above the middle height, he was slightly made, and had the 
look of being worn to extreme thinness by fasting and 
ascetic exercises. Plain in his features, he had, neverthe- 
less, a certain moral beauty, from the strong reflection of an 


intellect wakeful with high and solemn thought, and hallowed 
by the love of God. A bystander would have judged that 
he had some relation to the ecclesiastical life, by the loose 
straight coat then worn by the preachers, and the broad 
triangular hat. In fact, the sailors of a press-gang let him 
pays free, from their having taken him for an Irish priest. 
His wardrobe was extremely light, his purse yet lighter; and 
his whole viaticum for the voyage to Liverpool, and the 
land journey to Bristol, consisted of a little bread and 
cheese. Poor enough as he was, in the career that was 
before him he was, to all human calculation, likely to re- 
main so. The life of a Methodist preacher in those days was 
all work and no pay, or next to none. Scanty as is the 
remuneration which the greater number of these faithful 
and laborious servants of the public now receive, with the 
first race of the Wesleyan ministers it was unspeakably 
worse. We shall see in what way Adam Clarke was destined 
for a time to feel this. 

But the experience did not take him unawares when it 
came. If, according to Dean Swift, the man is blessed who 
expecteth nothing, our friend could lay claim to that beati- 
tude, lie Avas content to believe that Providence would 
grant him food and raiment : as to the latter, more strictly 
speaking, (as he himself says, when referring to this epoch,) 
he thought nothing about it. But there were obstacles to 
his entering even upon a course like this; and one arose 
from the difficulty which his father and mother felt with 
regard to it. His brother had already gone from home, and 
Mr. and Mrs. Clarke naturally looked to Adam to bo the stay 
and support of their declining years; and, with all their 
respect for the Methodist ministers, they knew enough of 
their temporal affairs to be convinced that for their son to 
cast in his lot with theirs would be ruinous to all his inter- 
ests in 1 lie present world. They gave the project, therefore, 


at first, their most decisive refusal. Mrs. Clarke urged her 
objections in the most strenuous terms, and scaled them on 
his mind with the threatening of her curse. In this painful 
dilemma, Adam could only refer all to the Divine will. He 
took his burden to the throne of God, and by prayer and 
supplication commended all to his disposal. Grace was 
given in the time of need. He had prayed that, if it were 
the will of his Heavenly Father that he should go, the will 
of his earthly parents might be brought into harmony with 
it. Business called him into Coleraine for several days. On 
his return, he went to walk in the garden. His mother 
came to him, and informed him that their objections had 
been surmounted, and that, if his mind were still bent upon 
going, the way, so far as they were concerned, might be 
considered open. " She had got the persuasion," says he, 
" that God required her to give up her son to do his work : 
she instantly submitted, and had begun to use her influence 
with his father, to bring him to the same mind ; nor had she 
exerted herself in vain. aBoth of them received him with a 
pleasing countenance; and though neither said, 'Go,' yet 
both said, ' We submit.' In a few days he set off for the 
city of Londonderry, whence he was shortly to embark for 

"On his departure, he was recommended by the pious 
society of Coleraine to God. Ho had little money, and but 
a scanty wardrobe ; but he was carried far above the fear of 
want : he would not ask his parents for any help, nor would 
he intimate to them that he needed any. A few of his own 
select friends put some money in his purse, and, having taken 
a dutiful and affectionate leave of his parents and friends, ho 
walked to Derry, a journey of upwards of thirty miles, in a 
part of a day; found Mr. Bredi'n waiting, who had agreed 
for their passage in a Liverpool trader, which was expected 
to sail the first fair wind. 

64: LIFE Off THE 

"As he was young and inexperienced, (for he had not seen 
the world,) Adam was glad that he was likely to have the 
company and advice of his friend Mr. Bredin ; but in this 
he was disappointed. 

"Just as they were about to sail, a letter came from Mr. 
Wesley, remanding Mr. Bredin's appointment. There was 
no time to deliberate ; the wind was fair, the vessel got clear 
out, and about to fall down the Lough : Adam got a loaf of 
bread and about a pound of cheese, went instantly aboard, 
and the vessel sailed. By this step he had separated himself 
from all earthly connections and prospects in his own country, 
and went on what he believed to be a Divine command, not 
knowing whither he was going, or what God intended for 

In those days steam-navigation was unknown, and the voy- 
age begun on the Saturday was not completed till the Mon- 
day afternoon. Adam would have improved the Sunday in 
the usual way, but was prostrate with sea-sickness. He re- 
proved the sailors for profane swearing, and they -took it 
respectfully and refrained. He observed the captain to read 
a good deal at intervals, and found the author was Flavel. 
This opened the way for serious conversation, with which 
Captain Cunningham expressed himself much pleased. Off 
Hoylake a pilot came on board, and warned them that they 
would meet with " a hot press" up the river. This was soon ex- 
plained by the sight of a man-of-war's tender, which brought 
them to by a couple of guns. The captain could only obey, 
but he exhorted the passengers to hide themselves as they 
best could below. The two steerage-passengers, the one a 
seafaring man, and the other a hatter, took his advice ; but 
Clarke said to himself, "Shall such a man as I flee ? I will 
not. I am in the hands of the Lord : if he permit me to be 
sent on board of a man-of-war, doubtless he has something 
for me to do there." So he took a seat on the locker in the 


cabin, lifting up his heart in prayer. Presently the tender's 
boat was alongside with six men and an officer. On boarding, 
the officer, "with a hoarse voice," summoned all below to 
come on deck. Adam immediately walked up, and stood re- 
clining against the gunwale. The lieutenant dived below in 
quest of other passengers, but found only the hatter, of 
whom, poor fellow, they made a capture. "And who have 
you got here ?" said one of the gang, looking at Adam. "A 
priest, I'll warrant. But we took a priest yesterday, and will 
let this one alone." With that the lieutenant came, and 
having scrutinized him from head to foot, took his hand and 
manipulated it, as if to judge whether he had been brought 
up to the sea or hard labor ; and casting it from him with an 
oath, gave it as his opinion that "he would not do." Adam's 
bosom swelled with indignation, not only then, but when, 
relating this circumstance afterwards, he used to inveigh 
against the tyranny of a custom at once iniquitous and cruel 
in itself, and utterly at variance with the spirit and the letter 
of the British Constitution. 

The worthy captain's wife was the mistress of a boarding- 
house, and there our young traveller found a quiet and con- 
genial sojourn during his brief stay in Liverpool. The in- 
mates were a Scotch gentleman ;ind a naval officer. The 
conversation at the tea-table gave Adam an occasion of re- 
spectfully admonishing the lady about a habit she had of 
asseverating by her conscience^ This led to a further dis- 
cussion at supper, when the naval man avowed himself a 
member of the Roman Catholic Church ; and, stating his 
belief in the doctrine of transubstantiation, demanded of 
Adam whether he had any thing to say against that. " yes, 
sir," replied he, "I have much to say against it;" and then 
proceeded to argue largely to prove the dogma to be unscriptu- 
ral and absurd. The captain then asked him, What he had 
to say against the invocation of saints, and the worship of 

66 LITE 0! THE 

images ? He gave his reasons at large against these also. 
Purgatory, auricular confession, and the priest's power to 
forgive sins, were then considered, and confuted from Scripture 
and reason. But the last topic gave him the opportunity to 
speak on the nature of sin, the condemned state of fallen 
man, and the impossibility that any one could take away guilt 
but He against whose law the transgression is committed ; as 
well as on the terrible doom that awaits the unforgiven. He 
then showed that reconciliation with God is impossible except 
through the great sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, which becomes 
effectual to no man who does not truly repent and implicitly 
confide in it. While discoursing on these subjects, God gave 
him uncommon power and freedom of speech. The company 
heard him with a fixed and solemn gaze, and at length showed 
by tears that the word had entered their hearts. Hereupon 
he rose and invited them to pray. They fell on their knees, 
and he concluded this remarkable interview with fervent 
supplication, which seemed to find a mighty response in every 
one's mind. The effects of these well-spent hours may here- 
after be unfolded in a better world. 

On leaving Captain Cunningham's the next morning, he 
inquired for his bill. "No, sir," said Mrs. Cunningham, 
"you owe us nothing. It is we who are deeply in your debt. 
You have been a blessing to our house ; and were you to stay 
longer, you would have no charges." He departed earnestly 
invoking that God would remember that family for good, for 
the kindness they had shown to a poor stranger in a strange 

The same good Providence was over him in the journey to 
Bristol, which he performed as an outside passenger of a 
lumbering and slow-going conveyance miscalled the fly. A 
young gentleman, one of the "insides," came outside for a 
change, and commenced a gay, rattling conversation, inter- 
larded with an occasional oath. Here was another task for 


Adam, who at once accepted it, and told the swearer what he 
thought of his bad custom. "What," said the gentleman, 
"are you a Presbyterian?" "No, sir," said Adam, "I am a 
Methodist." This provoked his risibility to an uncommon 
degree, and he made it the subject of a great deal of harm- 
less but rather foolish wit. On returning inside, he told his 
tale in his own way, and this excited the curiosity of his 
companions to see the strange creature. A gentleman from 
within accordingly offered Adam to exchange places with 
him. Adam preferred remaining where he was. Another 
overture was followed by the same result. At length, when 
the coach stopped, a lady asked him to favor them with his 
company. Adam, observing the still unsettled face of his 
risible friend, excused himself, on the plea that he did not 
think his company would be agreeable. She answered, " Sir, 
you must come in : this young gentleman will take your place, 
and you will do us good.W Thus challenged, he could no 
longer refuse. Questioned about his religion, the purposes 
of his journey, etc., he gave such an account of himself as 
visibly won their good sympathies, and some hours were 
passed in cheerful and profitable conversation. Adam, find- 
ing the gentleman was a scholar, fortified some remarks he 
made to him about the confidence that every true servant of 
God has in his favor and protection, by observing that the 
principle was not unknown among even the heathens, though 
many called Christians deny that we can have any direct evi- 
dence of God's love to u»; and quoted the verse from Horace : 

"Integer viim, sceleritque purus 
Xon eget Mauri jaculti neque arcu, 
A'ec venenatis gravid/1 sqgittis, 

Fusee, pharetrA."* 

* Od. i. 22. " The man that knows not guilty fear, 

Nor wants the bow, nor pointed spear ; 

Nor needs, while innocent of heart. 

The quiver teeming with the poisoned dart." 


"True," said the gentleman; "but if we take Horace as 
authority for one point, we may as well do it in another ; and 
in some of your received principles you will find him against 
you. Witness another ode : 

' Nunc eat bibendum, nunc pede libero 
PuUanda tellus.' "* 

Adam acknowledged the propriety of this critique; and 
sometimes referring to it used to say : " We' should be cautious 
how we appeal to heathens, even as to morality, because much 
may be collected from them on the other side. In like man- 
ner, we must be careful how we quote the Fathers in proof 
of the doctrines of the gospel ; because he who knows them 
best, knows that on many of those subjects they blow hot 
and cold." 

When the coach stopped for dinner at Lichfield, they in- 
sisted on his being their guest, and would not suffer him to 
be at any charge ; and, as they were going on to London, 
they urged him to go roundto Bristol by the same way, with 
the assurance that they would defray his expenses. Anxious, 
however, to get to Kingswood by the most direct route, he 
took leave of his agreeable party with mutual good feelings. 

At Birmingham Providence was equally kind, in opening 
to him the hearts and home of an excellent family, the rela- 
tives of Mr. Brettell, the first Methodist preacher he had 
heard in Ireland. He accompanied them to chapel in the 
evening, and heard old Parson Greenwood discourse on the 
words of the apostle, "I am in a strait betwixt two." The 
preacher pointed out the example of many good men who 
have been constrained to make that confession : upon which 
Adam made the reflection, that, had he known the circum- 

* Od. i. 87. "Now let the bowl with wine be crowned, 
Now lightly dance the mazy round." 


stances in which he himself was then found, he might safely 
have added him to the number. 

It was well for him that he met with these kindnesses by 
the way; for, on coming to Bristol, he found that his little 
store of cash had dwindled to one shilling and sevenpence 
halfpenny. This was occasioned by the expense of the 
journey by coach, which he had designed at first to perform 
on foot, till he yielded to the dissuasions of Mr. Cunningham 
at Liverpool. On the last day of the journey, no dinner 
offering itself, he had subsisted on " a penny loaf and a half- 
pennyworth of apples." Hungry and exhausted, he went 
into the kitchen of an inn in Broadmead, warmed himself at 
the fire, and asked for a piece of bread and cheese, and a 
drink of water. " Water !" said one of the servants : " had 
you not better have a pint of beer ?" "No, I prefer water," 
said he. It was brought; and for this homely supper he 
paid sixpence, and sixpence for his bed, before he lay 
down. He had now sevenpence halfpenny ; sixpence of 
which the chambermaid charged for taking care of his box. 
Breakfast next morning was out of the question ; so he left 
Bristol with his whole fortune of three-halfpence, and bent 
his steps up the hill towards Kingswood. He found the 
Wesleyan establishment, consisting of a mansion, school, and 
chapel, surrounded by a small grove of trees, in an open 
moorland country. It was seven in the morning, the hour 
for prayers and sermon, and several people were entering the 
chapel for the service. He.joined them ; and drank in some 
words of consolation which the preacher, Mr. Payne, spoke 
from the text, "Why weepest thou ? Whom seekest thou ?" 
The topic was seasonable ; for an unusual oppression weighed 
upon his mind. Mr. Brettell at Birmingham had given him 
some uneasiness, by expressing a strong opinion that his ex- 
pectations of getting any profit at Kingswood would turn out 
to be fallacious ; and he now suffered a presentiment of dis- 


tress which he could not shake off. Immediately after the 
service he requested to be introduced to the head-master, Mr. 
Simpson, to whom he delivered Mr. Wesley's letter. The 
master appeared surprised, and told him that his coming 
was totally unexpected, and that, in effect, they had no 
room in the school for any one. He added, that Mr. Wesley, 
who was then in Cornwall, would not return for a fortnight ; 
and that it would be necessary for him to go back to Bristol, 
and lodge there till Ire came. Crushed at heart with distress, 
poor Adam ventured to say, "I cannot return to Bristol, sir. 
I have expended all my money, and have nothing to subsist 
on." The master said, "But why should you have come to 
Kingswood at all ? It appears from this letter that you have 
been already at a classical school, and can read both Greek 
and Latin authors. If you are already a preacher, you had 
better go out into the work at large ; for there is no room for 
you in the school, and not one spare bed in the house." At 
last it was decided he should have permission to occupy a 
room at the end of the old chapel, where the forlorn youth 
passed several days and nights, encountering meanwhile not 
a few annoyances. And when, at length, he was allowed to 
take a place at dinner at the family-table, all comfort was 
annihilated by the overbearing rigor of the hostess. It is 
needless to go minutely into the circumstances which im- 
bittered his transient sojourn : some of them it might be found 
impossible to recall with accuracy. I will be content to 
offer a remark which some readers may require, to obviate 
the scandal they might be led to attach to Kingswood School 
itself. The establishment at that place had been founded by 
Mr. Wesley with the combined object of affording an educa- 
tional asylum for the sons of his preachers, and a seminary 
on the plan of a boarding-school for the children of Methodist 
parents who were desirous of giving them the benefits of a 
system in which the religious element formed a well-defined 


constituent, along with the essentials of secular learning. 
The design was noble and good, but it must be confessed that 
hitherto it had proved a failure. The staff of teachers 
seemed unexceptionable. Mr. Simpson himself was a Master 
of Arts, and, as Dr. Clarke records, "a man of learning and 
piety, but one too easy for his situation." The Rev. Corne- 
lius Bayley, afterwards Dr. Bayley, of St. James's Church, 
Manchester, was English teacher ; Mr. Vincent De Baudry, 
professor of French j and Mr. Bond, assistant teacher. " The 
scholars, however, were none of them remarkable for piety 
or learning. The boarders had spoiled the discipline of the 
school ; very few of its rules and regulations were observed ; 
and it by no means answered the end of its institution. 
Though the teachers were men of adequate learning, yet, as 
the school was perfectly disorganized, every one did what 
was right in his own eyes. The little children of the 
preachers suffered great indignities : the parlor-boarders had 
every kind of respect, and the others were shamefully neg- 
lected.'' Mr. Wesley had become acquainted with this state 
of things; and, in an exposition of the case which he gave 
shortly after at the Bristol Conference, expressed his deter- 
mination " either to mend it or to end it." 

It was mended. The idea of the united school was given 
up, and the establishment henceforward devoted to the pur- 
pose of affording a wholesome and useful education to the 
children of the itinerant preachers. Another branch was 
subsequently located at AVoodhouse Grove, in Yorkshire. 
Kingswood School has been improving steadily with the lapse 
of time, and is now one of the best educational institutions in 
the country. Its locale has been transferred to the vicinity 
of Bath, where, on Lansdown Hill, it forms one of the 
ornaments even of that neighborhood, so distinguished by 
fine architecture. Nor has the other design been overlooked 
by the present generation of the Methodist people ; of which 


their beautiful collegiate establishments at Sheffield and 
Taunton are conspicuous monuments. The Methodists are 
now, indeed, behind no religious communion in their enter- 
prises for the promotion of, knowledge and learning. They 
have founded hundreds of primary schools in various parts 
of the kingdom, all of them in connection with a noble 
Training College for teachers at Westminster. Their theo- 
logical faculty accomplishes an effective training of devoted 
young men for the service of the Church, at their colleges 
of Richmond, Surrey, and Didsbury, near Manchester. In 
India, Africa, and Australia, similar institutions are rising; 
while, in America, some of the best universities ■ in Canada 
and the United States are conducted under the auspices of 
the Methodist Church. All Mr. Wesley's ideas had the im- 
print of a mind which combined the characteristics of the 
refined scholar and the Christian apostle; and, in their ever- 
growing development, whole myriads of families are grateful 
partakers of benefits which have rendered his name a sacred 
symbol of whatever things are pure, or lovely, or of good 
report, or productive of virtue and of praise. 

But now to return to our poor solitary. The authorities 
at Kingswood made him, as we have seen, dwell apart at first; 
and, when admitted to the table, laid him under restraints 
which rendered solitude more agreeable to him than their 
society. He had, however, by this time, got his trunk with 
his few books* and papers from Bristol ; and he filled up the 
intervals of study by working in the gardcn,f and occasional 

* A pocket Bible, a Greek Testament, Prideaux ? s Connection, and 
Young's Night Thoughts. 

f In digging there one day, he lit upon a half-guinea. Having 
laid this golden discovery before the gentlemen of the house, and 
found that none of them claimed it, he entered his name as a sub- 
scriber to a Hebrew Grammar which Mr. Bayley was then preparing 
for publication, and which gave him afterwards his first lessons ia 
the study of the holy tongue. 


essays to do good, by speaking to the people, as occasion 
offered. Moreover, Mr. Rankin came, the superintendent 
preacher, who conceived a partiality for him at once, and set 
him to do some work in the circuit. In one of his excursions 
he preached at the village of Pensford, when " a venerable 
man" in the congregation came and laid his hand upon him, 
and said, with a look of approval and solemnity, "Christ, 
bless the word ! Christ, bless the word ! Christ, bless the 
word !" The kind feeling manifested by this aged disciple 
was like a gleam of sunshine on the young man's heart. 

At length Mr. Wesley arrived at Bristol ; and, having 
received Mr. Simpson's statement in relation to the young 
stranger, expressed a wish to see him. The interview is 
described by Adam : — " I had this privilege for the first 
time on September the sixth. I went into Bristol ; saw Mr. 
Rankin, who took me to Mr. Wesley's study, off the great 
lobby of the rooms over the «hapel in Broadmead. He 
tapped at the door, which was opened by this truly apostolic 
man. Mr. Rankin retired. Mr. Wesley took me kindly 
by the hand, and asked me how long since I had left 
Ireland. Our conversation was short. He said, 'Well, 
brother Clarke, do y6u wish to devote yourself entirely to 
the work of God V I answered, ' Sir, I wish to do, and be, 
what God pleases.' He then said, 'We want a preacher 
for Bradford, in Wiltshire : hold yourself in readiness to go 
there. I am going into the country, and will let you know 
when you shall go.' He then turned to me, laid his hands 
upon my head, and spent a few moments in praying to 
God to bless and preserve me, and to give me success in 
the work to which I was called. I departed, having now 
received, in addition to my appointment from God to preach 
his gospel, the only authority I could have from man in 
that line in which I was to exercise the ministry of the Divine 


That evening he heard Mr. Wesley preach on these words : 
" Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the 
Lord of hosts." Two days after, he first saw Charles "Wes- 
ley, being not a little gratified to have the opportunity of 
seeing " the two men whom I had long considered as the 
very highest characters upon the face of the globe/ and as 
the most favored instruments which God had employed, since 
the days of the twelve apostles, to revive and spread 
genuine Christianity in the earth." On the twenty-sixth 
of the month he received final instructions to repair to his 

He obeyed at once. There were no bands of love to de- 
tain him at Kingswood an hour. That very morning he 
walked away to Hanham, and from thence to Bath, where he 
again heard Mr. Wesley; and thence again next day to 
Bradford, lodging that night at the house of Mr. Pearce. 
The day following he found his way to Trowbridge, the head- 
quarters for the preachers of the circuit. 

Sursum corda. 




Though Wesleyan Methodism had not at that time risen 
to the massive strength in which it is now recognized as one 
of the established religious institutions of the country, it 
had, nevertheless, so far hack as the time of which we are 
now writing, unfolded the character of a vital and powerful 
system of Christian agency, which was exerting an enlighten- 
ing, moralizing, and pacific influence over immense masses 
of the English people. Congregations, not on Sabbaths only, 
but from day to day, in all parts of the land, came in silent 
erowds to hear from ite preachers the word of God ; and 
hundreds of societies, united in the faith, hope, and charity 
of our holy religion, walking in the comfort of the blessed 
Spirit, and being ever multiplied, gave proof that the word 
was not heard in vain. When, therefore, Mr. Ad;im Clarke 
entered on the sphere, of labor assigned him under the 
circumstances we have recounted, he had not to feel his way 
with the uncertain step of a mere adventurer, but had only 
to make his credentials known, to secure for himself the 
welcomes of a numerous people prepared to receive all such 
as he with the benedictions of the gospel of peace. Some 
of them, indeed, struck at first sight with the extreme 
juvenility of their new preacher, might have wished that a 
man of greater age and consequent experience had been ap- 



pointed to them; and the pleasant tradition is yet repeated, 
that on his first visit to one of the chapels, as he walked 
with solemn step along the aisle to the pulpit, one of the 
seniors of the congregation was overheard giving a sort of 
vexed expression to his first view of the affair, with, " Tut, 
tut ! what will Mr. Wesley send us next ?" Yet they proved 
themselves fully able to appreciate and ever after to love the 
stranger, now such no longer, who had come among them. 
His own musings, too, upon this difficulty, were by no means 
agreeable. " His youth," he writes of himself, " was a 
grievous trial to him, and was the subject of many perplex- 
ing reasonings. He thought, ' How can I expect that, men 
and women, persons of forty, threescore, or more years, will 
come out and hear a boy preach the gospel ? And is it 
likely that, if through curiosity they do come, they will 
believe* what I say ? As to the young, they are too gay and 
giddy to attend Divine things ; and if so, among whom lies 
the probability of my usefulness ?' " Time, however, with 
its rapid wing, would too soon leave all these complaints 
behind him. Meanwhile the intellectual and religious cha- 
racteristics of this youth placed him on a par with " persons 
of forty," ay, and with some of the sages of " fourscore." 
As to the people among whom he had come, young or old — 
boy as he was, he could teach them all. He was himself 
taught of God. " The Bible was his one book, and prayer 
his continual exercise : he frequently read it on his knees, 
and often watered it with his tears." When he says the 
Bible was his one book, he records his conviction that the 
sacred volume is the only absolute canon of Divine truth ; 
the sole infallible rule of doctrine, and the grand warrant of 
hope to man ; from which all effectual teaching must be 
derived, and to which all creeds must be subjected. As the 
sun enlightens the face of the planet, so the Bibje illumines 
the true teachers of the Church. 


" Hither, 
As to their fountain, other stars repair, 
And in their golden urns draw light." 

The late Thomas Marriott, Esq., had a Bible of Dr. 
Clarke's, which he believed to be the identical copy he 
brought with him from Kingswood, or rather from Ireland, 
to Trowbridge. It has, in addition to his name, the date, 
" Trowbridge, Wiltshire, August 9th, 1783. Bene ordsse est 
bene stiMuissc." At the end of the Old Testament is the 
memorandum, " June 10th. Read through :" while by 
another, at the beginning of Genesis, we judge that he 
recommenced the next day : "Incept, June 11th, 1784." I 
have myself a pocket Bible of his, in a stout red morocco 
case. On the top of the#title-page are the words in his 
handwriting, " Ood is love. Glory to his name. Adam 
Clarke, May 21st, 1783." This copy, therefore, must have 
been in his possession at Trowbridge, as well as that obtained 
by Mr. Marriott. 

Searching thus the Scriptures, with habitual and devout 
meditation, he had already acquired a deep insight into the 
analogy of the Christian faith, and was enabled to embrace 
and ever hold fast the great principles of revealed theology. 
It was not far from this time that he drew up the following 
theses, whioh may be considered the alpha and omega of his 
religious creed, no article of which, he tells us, he ever saw 
occasion to alter : 

" I. That there is but one uncreated, unoriginated, infinite, 
and eternal Being; the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of 
all things. 

" II. There is in this Infinite Essence & plurality of what we 
commonly call Persona ; not separately subsisting, but essen- 
tially belonging to the Deity or Godhead; which Persons 


are generally termed, Father, Son, and Ilohj Ghost; or God, 
the Logos, and the Holy Spirit, which are usually desig- 
nated the Trinity: which term, though not found in the 
Scriptures, seems properly enough applied ; as we repeatedly 
read of these Three, and never of more persons in the 

" III. The Sacred Scriptures or Holy Books, which con- 
stitute the Old and New Testaments, contain a full revela- 
tion of the will of God in reference to man; and are alone 
sufficient for every thing relative to the faith and practice of 
a Christian ; and were given by the inspiration of God. 

" IV Man was created in righteousness and true holiness, 
without any moral imperfection, or any kind of propensity to 
sin ; but free to stand or fall, according to the use of the 
powers and faculties he received from his Creator. 

" V He fell from this state, became morally corrupt in 
his nature, and transmitted his moral defilement to all his 

" VI. To counteract the evil principle in the heart of 
man, and bring him into a salvable state, God, from his 
infinite love, formed the purpose of redeeming him from his 
lost estate, by the Incarnation, in the fulness of time, of 
Jesus Christ ; and, in the interim, sent his Holy Spirit to 
enlighten, strive with, and convince men of sin, righteous- 
ness, and judgment. 

" VII. In due time this Divine Person, called the Logos, 
Word, Saviour, etc., etc., did become incarnate; sojourned 
among men, teaching the purest truth, and working the 
most stupendous and beneficent miracles. 

" VIII. The above Person is really and properly God : 
was foretold as such, by the prophets ; described as such, by 
the evangelists and apostles; and proved to be such, by his 
miracles ; and has assigned to him, by the inspired writers in 


general, every attribute essential to the Deity ; being One 
with him who is called God, Jehovah, Lord, etc. 

" IX. ■ He is also a perfect Man, in consequence of his 
incarnation; and in that Man, or Manhood, dwelt all the 
fulness of the Godhead bodily : so that his nature is two- 
fold — Divine and Human, or God manifested in the flesh. 

" X. His Human Nature was begotten of the blessed 
Virgin Mary, through the creative energy of the Holy 
Ghost; but his Divine Nature, because God, infinite and 
eternal, is uncreated, underived, and unbegotten ; and which, 
were it otherwise, he could not be God in any proper sense 
of the word : but he is most explicitly declared to be God in 
the Holy Scriptures; and, therefore, the doctrine of the 
Eternal Sonship must necessarily be false. 

" XI. As he took upon him the nature of man, and died 
in that nature ; therefore, he died for the whole human race, 
without respect of persons: equally for all and every man. 

" XII. On the third day after his crucifixion and burial, 
he rose from the dead ; and, after showing himself many 
days to his disciples and others, he ascended into heaven, 
where, as God manifested in the flesh, he is, and shall con- 
tinue to be, the Mediator of the human race, till the con- 
summation of all things. 

"XIII. There is no salvation but through him; and 
throughout the Scriptures his Passion and Death are consi- 
dered as sacrificial : pardon of sin and final salvation being 
obtained by the alone" shedding of his blood. 

"XIV No human being, since the fall, either has, or 
can have, merit or worthiness of or by himself; and, there- 
fore, has nothing to claim from God but in the way of his 
mercy through Christ: therefore pardon, and every other 
blessing promised in the gospel, have been purchased by his 
Sacrificial Death ; and are given to men, not on account of 
any thing they have done or suffered, or can do or suffer, but 


for his sake, or through his meritorious passion and death, 

"XV These blessings are received by faith; because 
they are not of works, nor of suffering. 

"XVI. The power to believe, or grace of faith, is the 
free gift of God, without which no man can believe ; but the 
act of faith, or actually believing, is the act of the soul 
under that power. This power is withheld from no man ; 
but, like all other gifts of God, it may be slighted, not used, 
or misused : in consequence of which is that declaration, 
' He that believeth shall be saved ; but he that believeth not 
shall be damned.' 

" XVII. Justification, or the pardon of sin, is an instan- 
taneous act of God's mercy in behalf of a penitent sinner, 
trusting only in the merits of Jesus Christ ; and this act is 
absolute in reference to all past sin, all being forgiven where 
any is forgiven : gradual pardon, or progressive justification, 
being unscriptural and absurd. 

" XVIII. The souls of all believers may be purified from 
all sin in this life ; and a man may live under the continual 
influence of the grace of Christ so as not to sin against God : 
all sinful tempers and evil propensities being destroyed, and 
his heart constantly filled with pure love both to God and 
man. And as love is the principle of obedience, he who loves 
God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and his 
neighbor as himself, is incapable of doing wrong to either. 

" XIX. Unless a believer live and walk in the spirit of 
obedience, he will fall from the grace of God, and forfeit all 
his Christian privileges and rights; and, although he may be 
restored to the favor and image of his Maker from which he 
lias fallen, yet it is possible that he may continue under the 
influence of this fall, and perish everlastingly. 

" XX. The whole period of human life is a state of pro- 
hation, in every point of which a sinner may repent, and 


turn to God ; and in every point of it a believer may give 
way to sin, and fall from grace. And this possibility of ris- 
ing or falling is essential to a state of trial or probation. 

" XXI. All the promises and threatenings of the Sacred 
Writings, as they regard man in reference to his being here 
and hereafter, are conditional; and it is on this ground alone 
that the Holy Scriptures can be consistently interpreted or 
rightly understood. 

" XXII. Man is &free agent, never being impelled by any 
necessitating influence, either to do good or evil ; but has the 
continual power to choose the life or the death that are set 
before him : on which ground he is an accountable being, 
and answerable for his own actions; and on this ground, 
also, he is alone capable of being rewarded or punished. 

" XXIII. ' The free will of man is a necessary constituent 
of his rational soul; without which he must be a mere 
machine— either the sport of blind chance, or the mere 
patient of an irresistible necessity; and, consequently, not 
accountable for any acts which were predetermined, and to 
which he was irresistibly compelled. 

" XXIV Every human being has this freedom of will, 
with a sufficiency of light and power to direct its operations ; 
but this powerful light is not inherent in any man's nature, 
but is graciously bestowed by Him who is ' the true Light 
which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world.' 

" XXV. Jesus Christ has made, by his one offering upon 
the cross, a sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and atonement for 
the sins of the whole world ; and his gracious Spirit strives 
with, and enlightens, all men; thus putting them into a 
salyable state : therefore, every human soul may be saved, if 
it be not his own fault. 

" XXVI. Jesus Christ has instituted, and commanded to 
be perpetuated in his Church, two saoramente only : 1. Bap- 
tism, sprinkling, washing with, or immersion in, water, in 


the name of the holy and ever-blessed Trinity, as a sign of 
the cleansing or regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit, 
by which influence a death unto sin and a new birth unto 
righteousness are produced; and, 2. The Eucharist, or 
Lord's Supper, as commemorating , the sacrificial death of 
Christ. And he instituted the first to be once only adminis- 
tered to the same person for the above purpose, and as a rite 
of initiation into the visible Church ; and the second, that 
by its frequent administration all believers may be kept in 
mind of the foundation on which their salvation is built, and 
receive grace to enable them to adorn the doctrine of God 
their Saviour in all things. 

"XXVII. The soul is immaterial and immortal, and can 
subsist independently of the body. 

"XXVIII. There will be a general resurrection of the 
dead, both of the just and the unjust, when the souls of both 
shall be reunited to their respective bodies, both of which 
will be immortal, and live eternally. 

"XXIX. There will be a general judgment; after which 
all shall be punished or rewarded, according to the deeds 
done in the body ; and the wicked shall be sent to hell, And 
the righteous taken to heaven. 

"XXX- These states of rewards and punishments shall 
have no end, forasmuch as the time of trial or probation shall 
then be for ever terminated ; and the succeeding state must 
necessarily be fixed and unalterable. 

"XXXI. The origin of human salvation is found in the 
infinite philanthropy of God ; and on this principle the un- 
conditional reprobation of any soul is absolutely impossible. 

"XXXII. God has no secret will in reference to man 
which is contrary to his revealed will, as this would show him 
to be an insincere Being, professing benevolence to all, while 
he secretly purposed that that benevolence should be extended 
only to a few: a doctrine which appears blasphemous as it 


respects God, and subversive of all moral good as it regards 
man, and totally at variance with the infinite rectitude of the 
Divine Nature." 

We do not insert these remarkable articles as setting forth 
an exposition of the Methodist theology, (though substan- 
tially in harmony "with it, with one exception, to which we 
shall have occasion, though reluctantly, to refer hereafter : I 
mean that numbered the tenth, the concluding inference from 
which varies from the faith of the catholic Church,) but 
merely to show with what effect Mr. Clarke had even then 
applied his honest and vigorous mind to the close investiga- 
tion of the Holy Scriptures. Hardly more than a boy in 
years, it is plain that he had already become a man in under- 
standing. The good people of Trowbridge and Bradford would 
not find his preaching to be "yea and nay," but the steady 
inculcation of fixed principles, explained with precision, and 
applied with power, for doctrine and reproof, for correction 
and instruction in righteousness. 

But, though he was thus confident in what he believed to 
be Divine truth, the disposition with which he enforced it 
was not that of arrogant self-sufficiency, but of humble, 
lowly, and prayerful dependence on the grace of God. " He 
never entered the pulpit but with the conviction, that if God 
did not help him by the influence of his Spirit, his heart 
must be hard, and his mind dark, and consequently his word 
be without unction and without fruit. For this influence he 
besought the Lord with strong crying and tears ; and he was 
seldom, if ever, left to himself." 

He has given an instance of the favor thus shown him 
from on high, in giving him seals to his ministry and souls 
for his hire, which I cannot help transferring to our pages. 
On his first visit to Road, a country village between Trow- 
bridge and Frome, where the congregation had been very 


small, a report had got abroad in the neighborhood that "a 
boy was going to preach in the Methodist chapel that evening, 
and all the young men and women in the place were deter- 
mined to hear him. He came, and the place, long before the 
time, was crowded with young persons of both sexes : very 
few elderly persons could get in, the house being filled before 
they came. As he preached, the attention was deep and 
solemn, and the place was still as death. He then gave out 
that affecting hymn, 

'Vain, delusive world, adieu, 

With all of creature good! 
Only Jesus I pursue, 

Who bought me with his blood : 
AH thy pleasures I forego, 

I trample on thy wealth and pride : 
Only Jesus will I know, 

And Jesus crucified.' 

The fine voices of this young company produced great effect 
in the singing, When the last verse was ended, he said, 
'My dear young friends, you have joined with me heartily, 
and I dare say sincerely, in singing this fine hymn. You 
know in whose presence we have been conducting this solemn 
service : the eyes of God, of angels, and perhaps of devils, 
have been upon us! And what have we been doing? We 
have been promising, in the sight of all these, and of each 
other, that we will renounce a vain, delusive world, its plea- 
sures, pomp, and pride, and seek our happiness in God alone, 
and expect it through him who shed his blood for us. And 
is not this the same to which we have been long previously 
bound by our baptismal vow ? Have we not, when we were 
baptized, promised to renounce the devil and all his works, 
the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the 
sinful lusts of the flesh; and that we will keep God's holy 
will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days 


of our life ? This baptismal promise is precisely the same as 
that contained in this affecting hymn. Now, shall we pro- 
mise, and not perform ; tow, and not fulfil ? Qod has heard ! 
Now, what do you propose to do ? Will you continue to 
live to the world, and forget that you owe your being to 
God, and have immortal souls which must spend an eternity 
in heaven or hell ? We have no time to spare. The Judge 
is at the door. I have tried both lives, and find that a reli- 
gious life has an infinite preference above the other. Let us, 
therefore, heartily forsake sin, and seek God by earnest 
prayer, nor rest till he has blotted out our guilt, purified our 
heart, and filled us with peace and righteousness. If we seek 
earnestly, and seek through Jesus Christ, we cannot seek in 
vain.' He then prayed, and many were deeply affected. 
That night and the next morning thirteen person, young men 
and women, came to him, earnestly inquiring what they 
should do to be saved. A religious concern became general 
throughout the village and neighborhood : many young per- 
sons sought and found redemption in the blood of the Lamb. 
The old people, seeing the earnest and consistent walk of the 
young, began to reflect, and many were deeply awakened, 
while others, who had become indifferent, were roused to 
renewed diligence, and a hopeful revival of religion spread 
through the vicinity. Thus was he shown that the very cir- 
cumstance, his youth, which he thought most against his 
usefulness, became a principal means, in the Bivine hand, of 
his greatest ministerial success. Methodism in Road con- 
tinued to prosper during the whole time he was in the circuit; 
and when he visited them several years after, he found it 
still in a flourishing state. In faot, half a century from that 
time there were persons still living in Road who had main- 
tained a faithful conversation from thoso days; and when Dr. 
Clarke preached his last sermon at Frome, shortly beforo his 
death, one of them came to that place to meet him." 


The circuit in which he continued to labor during the re- 
mainder of the Methodistio year extended into three counties, 
Wiltshire, Somerset, and Dorset; and comprehended the towns 
of Bradford, Trowbridge, Shaftesbury, Shepton-Mallet, Frome, 
Melksham, Wells, and Devizes, with a number of villages. 
His colleagues were Messrs. Wrigley, Pool, and Algar. With 
the last Mr. Clarke found much congeniality of heart, though 
not a man altogether of the same type with himself as to in- 
tellect or learning. From one influential quarter he got no 
help in the latter department, but, no doubt unintentionally, a 
sore and injurious hindrance. One of his counsellors, though 
a man of undoubted integrity, labored under the disadvantage 
of a total lack of education, and a temperament in which 
sternness had, a marvellous resemblance to obstinacy. At 
Motcomb, a village near Shaftesbury, Mr. Clarke, observing 
one day a Latin sentence written in pencil on the wall of the 
preachers' room, relating to the vicissitudes of life, wrote 
under it a quotation from Virgil (with a verbal change) cor- 
roborative of the sentiment : 

" Quo fata trahunt retrahuntque sequamur. 
Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum 
Tendimus in c<elum."* 

This met the eye of the stern monitor, in whose esteem 
"human learning" was a sin. He read the above words, but 
was not wicked 1 enough to be able to understand them. There 
was something, however, in the very look of them which 
stirred his godly ire, to which he gave expression in the fol- 
lowing lines, inserted as a pendant to the Virgilian metre : 

"Did you write the above 
To show us you could write Latin ? 
For Bhame ! 

* .Eneid. v., 709 ; with i., 204, 206. 


Do send pride 

To hell, from whence it came. 
0, young man, improve your 
Time ; eternity 's at hand." 

I make no comment on this effusion, and should consider it 
too insignificant for mention here, but that it helps to unfold 
an admirable trait of character in the subject of our biog- 
raphy — I mean great tenderness of conscience, and a disposi- 
tion to renounce favorite, unexceptionable, and even profitable 
pursuits, if they became stumbling-blocks in the path of the 
weak-minded. On coming to the room at Motcomb, in his 
next turn, the poor youth read these words of sanctimonious 
folly with great confusion and dismay. He had evidently 
offended some sense of propriety which reigned in another's 
mind, though not in his own ; and the people of the house, 
who would no doubt have read them as a sentence of con- 
demnation, would henceforth have misgivings about him as a 
preacher of the right kind. Moreover, he saw that scholar- 
ship might engender pride, and it was too plain that, instead 
of provoking honorable emulation, it might have no other 
tendency than to excite envy. Under the influence of these 
temptations, he sank upon his knees, and made a premature 
vow "that he would never more meddle with Greek or Latin 
bo long as he lived !" Whatever he thought of the wisdom 
of the objurgation on the wall, the manner in which it was 
exhibited he felt was. most unkind, and, when he next saw 
the writer, he tdld him as much. "Why," said he, " did you 
not admonish me in private, or send me the reproof in a 
note ?" "I thought what I did was the best method to cure 
you," was the reply. Mr. Clarke then told his sagacious 
adviser what uncomfortable feelings the writing on the wall 
had produced in him, and how he had vowed to study litera- 
ture no more. Whereupon the other applauded his teacha- 


bleness and godly diligence, assuring him that he had never 
known a learned preacher who was not a coxcomb ! 

Let no reader imagine that he who wrote on the wall was 
a representative of the views of the Methodists in their esti- 
mate of learning. There have been a very few exceptions to 
the common rule in these matters, but no body of men can 
entertain a more solemn and religious love for real erudition 
than they. 

It was not till four years after, that Mr. Clarke was able to 
get free from the scruples with which this rash vow had 
trammelled him. To this point we shall have need to recur 
farther on. Meanwhile, those philological studies, without 
which he could never have been the expositor of the Septua- 
gint and the Greek Testament, were rendered impossible. 
Had the evil spell continued to work on Mr. Clarke's mind, 
this fanaticism would have deprived the Church of God of 
his Commentary on the Bible. 

At length the year rolled round, and his labors in his first 
circuit were ended. He had preached, it appears, five hun- 
dred and six sermons, many of which had been delivered at 
five o'clock in the morning; in addition to a great number 
of public exhortations, class-meetings, and religious conver- 
sations in the numerous houses where he passed the intervals 
of time not spent in reading or travel. 

The Conference of 1783 was held in Bristol. As Mr. 
Clarke had no authority to be there, whatever might have 
been his wishes, he cherished no thought of tfoing, till, on 
the 1st of August, he received by letter a requirement to 
attend. The next day, Saturday, he set off, and reached 
Bristol that evening. An extract from his journal will give 
us a glimpse of a Conference Sunday in Bristol in those 
days : 


"Sunday, August 3d, 1783. — At five this morning I heard 
a very useful sermon from Mr. Mather, at the chapel, Broad- 
mead, on Isaiah xxxv 3, 4. I then went to Guinea Street 
Chapel, where I heard Mr. Bradburn preach on Christian 
perfection, from 1 John iv. 19. This was, without exception, 
the best sermon I had ever heard on the subject. When 
this was ended, I posted to the Drawbridge, and heard Mr. 
Joseph Taylor preach an excellent and affecting sermon on 
Rom. v. 21. This ended, I returned to my lodging and 
breakfasted; atfd then, at ten o'clock, heard Mr. Wesley 
preach at Broadmead, on Acts i. 5. After sermon, he, as- 
sisted by Dr. Coke, the Rev. B. B. Collins, and the Rev. 
Cornelius Bayley, delivered the holy sacrament to a vast 
concourse of people, which I also received to my comfort. 
When dinner was ended, I heard the Rev B. B. Collins 
preach at Temple Church, on Mark xvi. 15, 16. I next went 
and heard Mr. Wesley in Carolina Court, on Heb. vi. 1, after 
which he met the society at the chapel, Broadmead, and read 
over a part of his journal relative to his late visit to Holland. 
To conclude the whole, I then posted to Kingsdown, where I 
heard Mr. T. Hanby preach an awakening sermon on 1 Pet. 
iv 18, Thus have I in one day, by carefully redeeming time, 
and buying up every opportunity, heard seven sermons, three 
of which were delivered out of doors. Surely this has been 
a day in which much has been given me, and much will the 
Lord require. grant that I may be enabled to render thee 
a good account !" 

We need not remark here that the rareness of the occasion- 
only could justify this excess of hearing. No one in his 
senses would recommend either a young Christian or an old 
one to hear seven discourses in a day. But it should be con- 
sidered that Mr. Clarke was himself a preacher who had 
never had an opportunity of listening to the great and good 
men of the time. All was new to him, and he did well to 


improve the season. No doubt he would also take notes of 
what he heard, as the material for future recollection. It 
was, therefore, very well for once ; but, as a habit, an over- 
plus of sermon-hearing must be pronounced unfriendly to 
true improvement. It bewilders the brain, and hardens the" 
heart. Two good discourses on the Sunday, heard with at- 
tention, and retraced with one's Bible in retirement, will 
yield the soul a profit it can never find in a succession of ser- 
vices in which one set of ideas and impressions must be swept 
away by the influx of another. * 

The Conference were so well satisfied with the steadiness 
and premise of Mr. Clarke's character as to resolve to admit 
him into full connection at the end of his first year's itine- 
rancy. He was by far the youngest man who had ever gone 
out "to travel," and his reception into full orders was the 
earliest that had ever taken place. On this occasion his mind 
was deeply affected. "This day, Wednesday, August the 
sixth,". writes he, "I have promised much before God and his 
people : may I ever be found true to my engagements ! In 
particular, I have solemnly promised to devote my whole 
strength to the work of God, and never to be triflingly em- 
ployed one moment. Lord, I fear much that I shall not be 
found faithful ; but thou hast said, My grace shall be suffi- 
cient for thee. Even so let it be, Lord Jesus." 

When Methodist ministers are admitted into full connec- 
tion with the Conference, they receive from the president a 
manual which is called "The Large Minutes." The copy 
which was presented to Mr. Clarke at this time I have now 
on the table. On the blank side of the title-page stands the 
usual formula of reception, signed by the secretary, Dr. Coke. 

"To Adam Clarke : 

"As long as you freely consent to, and earnestly endeavor 


to walk by, these Rules, we shall rejoice to acknowledge you 
as a fellow-laborer. Thomas Coke." 

Underneath, in a neat handwriting, we have the following : 
"0 Lord, thou knowest that of myself I am unable to do 
these things. Therefore give me Divine strength and wis- 
dom : so shall I be enabled to walk by these Rules, and con- 
sequently to glorify thee in the land of the living. Grant 
this. Lord, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. A. C." 

The prayer was answered. 

92 L IFF. OF T IT K 



Mr. Clarke was now appointed to labor in a large tract 
of country in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, having 
the city of Norwich as the head of the circuit ; and for this 
new sphere of gospel enterprise he lost no time in setting 
out, travelling the whole way in the saddle. The Methodist 
preachers in those days were all horsemen. The country 
people, all over England, used to speak of them as "the 
riding preachers." The new evangelists were decidedly an 
equestrian order, who prolonged the days of chivalry. And 
among these soldiers of the cross, who went abroad through 
all the land to comfort the afflicted, rescue the oppressed, 
and save the perishing, Adam Clarke had now been finally 
enrolled. He wore now the armor that St. Paul describes 
in the Epistle to the Ephesians — the helm and breastplate, 
sword and shield ; and never more laid them aside, till the 
day of his death. In thinking of him now, as he pursues 
his way with much solemn musing and frequent prayer, one 
is reminded of old Spenser's emblematic picture-words in 
the "Faerie Queen," where he describes "a gentle knight" 
who " was moving o'er the plain, yclad in mighty arms and 
silver shield :" 


"And on his breast a bloody cross he bore, 
The dear remembrance of his dying Lord, 
For whose sweet sake that glorious badge he wore, 
And dead, as living, ever him adored. 
Upon his shield the like was also scored, 
For sovereign hope which in its help he had. 
Right faithful true was he in deed and word, 
And ever, as he rode, his heart did yearn 
To prove his puissance in battle brave 
Upon his foe, a dragon horrible and stern." 

The service to which Mr. Clarke was called, in his new 
circuit, was one which required him to " endure hardness as 
a good soldier of Jesus Christ." The people among whom 
he labored were ignorant and depraved, and his efforts to 
bring them to truth and righteousness were prosecuted in 
circumstances most depressing to body and mind. On 
arriving in the city of Norwich, he found one of the late 
preachers, lying ill of a fever, and unable to vacate the room 
which had been assigned as his own sleeping-place. In this 
sorrowful domicile, which he describes as " pestiferous," he 
got such rest as could be obtained ; and then he went out 
into the circuit. It comprehended two-and-twenty towns 
and villages, and was travelled every month by a journey of 
not less than two hundred and sixty miles. Of his col- 
leagues, the superintendent was Mr. Richard Whatooat, who 
was afterwards sent to America, and there became one of 
the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Clarke 
describes him as "a vary holy man, a good and sound 
preacher, diligent and orderly in his work, and a fine example 
of practical piety in all his conduct." He pursued among 
his transatlantic brethren the same quiet and good career, 
seeking only the establishment of the kingdom of God, both 
in himself and others; and died at length in the faith, uni- 
versally esteemed. 

The other two were Messrs. Ingham and Adamson ; the 


latter of whom was " a young man very sincere, and who had 
got the rudiments of a classical education ; but was of such 
an unsteady, fickle mind, that he excelled in nothing." The 
next year he retired from the work. The four preachers 
took each one his week in the city, and then three weeks in 
itinerating the circuit. Both in town and country they fared 
very poorly. In Norwich itself the preachers' residence 
was tenanted also by another family, who " provided for the 
preachers at so much per meal ;" and he was most certainly 
considered the best preacher who ate the fewest dinners, 
because his bills were the smallest. In this respect Mr. 
Clarke excelled. He breakfasted on milk and bread, drank 
no tea or coffee, and took nothing in the evening. ' In short, 
he adapted himself to these dietetic circumstances, and en- 
deavored to make the state of things as agreeable and useful 
in the domestic department as he could. It was not without 
some allowable hilarity that he would afterwards tell how he 
mended the bellows, and repaired the coal-shovel, though the 
poker, worn away to the stump, defied his ingenuity. Nay, 
obeying the letter as well as the spirit of the " Rules of a 
Helper," — "Do not affect the gentleman;" and, "Be not 
ashamed of cleaning your own shoes, or your 'neighbor's" — > 
he frequently did this for his own, and those of his 

Out in the circuit, things were worse. Except at a few 
places, the accommodations were very bad. The winter, too, 
was that year unusually severe. The snow began to fall on 
Christmas day, and lay on the ground for more than three 
months, in some places from ten to fifteen feet deep. The 
frost was so intense, that in riding he could seldom keep his 
saddle five minutes together, but was forced to alight, and 
walk and run, to prevent 'his feet from being frost-bitten. 
In the poor cabins where he lodged, and where there was 
scarcely any fire, and the clothing on the bed was very light, 


he" suffered much, "going to bed cold, and rising cold." 
In one place, I have been told, he had a wooden door laid 
upon him as a succedaneum for an upper blanket. He 
could indulge also in astronomical contemplations, as the 
stars shone upon him through chinks in the roof.* In an- 
other place he lodged in a loft of an outhouse, where the 
cold' was so intense, that warm water which he brought with 
him into this arctic region froze in' a few minutes. In such 
circumstances, I wonder not that, like one of his brethren, 
who, while laboring in Herefordshire, "went to bed at night, 
boots and all," Mr. Clarke should often have been " obliged 
to get into bed with a part of his clothes on, strip them 
off by degrees, as the bed got warmer, and theft lie in the 
same position, without attempting to move his limbs, every 
unoccupied place in the bed which his legs touched pro- 
ducing the same sensation as if the parts had been brought 
into contact with red-hot iron." No doubt he would hence- 
forward understand something better those lines in Milton : 

"The parched air 
Burns frore, and cold performs th' effects of fire." 
The refreshments of the table were in general keeping with 

the hardness of the lodging — very homely . food, and some- 
times but little of it; which the poor' people, nevertheless, 
most readily shared with him who came to their houses and 
their hearts with the good tidings of better things to come ; 
since, but for such preaching, they must have been almost 
totally destitute of that instruction without which there was 
little hope of their salvation. It was by these means, and 
often in these conditions of privation and suffering, that the 
Methodist preachers spread scriptural Christianity through 

* I knew an old prencher who had composed a long poem, which 
he entitled, "Night Thoughts," descriptive of similar experiences. 


the land, and became the instruments of improving the moral 
and civil life of the great masses of the poor. 

Yet not always welcome. In some parts of the circuit, 
and even in Norwich itself, they had not only to bear up 
under the discouragements of apathy on the part of the 
people, but at times to face their more open opposition. 
" They were called," says an historian of the times, " to 
meet the rude assaults of the mob, who did not wish to be 
disturbed in their ungodly courses ; and the county of Nor- 
folk was distinguished for this kind of conduct. Mr. 
Clarke did not scruple to pronounce it the most ungodly part 
of the British empire he knew. In Norwich the preachers 
scarcely evef got through the service on a Sabbath evening 
without having less or more disturbance, or a mob at the 
chapel doors. Even Mr. Wesley himself could not escape 
rude treatment." On one occasion he visited Norwich in 
company with Mr. John Hampson, a preacher of gigantic 
make, and the strongest muscular powers, nor wanting, 
either, in strength and grandeur of mind. When Mr. Wes- 
ley had finished, on going from the chapel he found the 
street crowded with a mob who were waiting to offer him 
pome violence. As they closed in upon him, Mr. Hampson 
stepped forward, and fronted them in an attitude of threaten- 
ing. Mr. Wesley, fearing he would really attack them, 
called out to him to refrain ; upon which Mr. Hampson 
replied in a thundering voice, "Let me alone, sir. If God 
has not given you an arm to quell this mob, he has given me 
one; and the first man who molests you here, I will lay him 
for dead." Mr. Wesley and his doughty acolyte passed 
away unmolested. 

It was in the course of this year that the founder of Me- 
thodism, the grand itinerant, whose circuit was the whole 
kingdom, and whose parish was the world, came again into 
that part of the country; and Mr. Clarke was greatly re- 


freshed in hearing him preach nine sermons, on the following 
texts: "We preach Christ crucified." "Wherefore he is 
able to save to the uttermost." " Except your righteousness 
shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes -and Pharisees. 
ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." '• Put 
on the whole armor of God." " The kingdom of God is at 
hand." "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost." 
" They despised the pleasant land, they believed not his 
word." " What shall I render unto the Lord for all his 
benefits toward me ? I will take the cup of salvation, and 
call upon the name of the Lord." " While we look not at the 
things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen ; 
for the things which are seen are temporal ; but the things which 
are not seen are eternal." Adam Clarke had now learned to 
love Mr. Wesley, as a son loves a father. With him hi' had 
now the privilege of conversation concerning the state of his 
soul, from which he derived much edification and strength. 
Referring in his journal to the last of these interviews, he 
adds: "Here I took leave of this precious servant of God. 
O Father, let thy angels attend him wheresoever he goes; 
let the energetic power of thy Spirit accompany the words 
he shall speak, and apply them to the hearts of all, and 
[make them] the means of conviction, conversion, comfort, 
and strength, as they may severally require. And let mo 
also abundantly profit by the. things I have heard." 

The heavy toil of this year produced, apparently; but little 
froit. A kind of invincible ignorance and brutal depravity 
marked the state of the multitude of the people ; and Anti- 
notnianism had perverted the minds of many who professed 
the faith of the gospel. Yet, doubtless, the day of eternity 
will reveal bright evidences that these labors were not in vain 
in the Lord. His holy word does not return void. .Mr. 
Clarke had the honor of introducing Methodism into some 
neighborhoods in the eastern counties, where good religious 

98 LI fE OF THE 

effects have been produced. The town of Diss, one of those 
places, has since become the head of a circuit. The people 
of God in the different congregations were edified under his 
ministry., and the more intelligent among them discerned in 
him the signs of future greatness. As to cases of individual 
conversion, the disclosures of the future life will show more 
than he was permitted to ascertain in the present. But, 
though that unfriendly soil should have yielded no such fruit, 
it was not for want of earnest and persevering endeavors on 
the part of this good and faithful servant,* whose work is 
with the Lord, and his labor with his God. 

By the Conference of 1784 Mr. Clarke was appointed to 
the East Cornwall Circuit. The journey thither, about four 
hundred miles, he accomplished on horseback ; and for the 
defrayment of the expenses he received a guinea. His whole 
salary in the Norwich Circuit had been but twelve pounds ; 
and of this, little, I ween, was remaining when he left the 
ground. In fact, it appears, by an entry of his own, that he 
had but half a crown besides the guinea, at the time of his 
setting off. He rode from forty to fifty miles a day, fasting 
nearly all the way, as the poor horse required nearly all the 
money he could command.. A penny usually served for a 
breakfast and a dinner too; and at nightfall, at the places 
where he rested, being of necessity obliged to take something, 
he made the repast as light as he could, from a. tender regard 
to the infirm state of his purse. He reached- London on the 
Saturday, (August 14th,) and, making himself known to his 
brethren, received their not unwelcome hospitality, and 
helped them in their preaching labors on the following day 
At that time, Moorfields, in the neighborhood of the head- 
quarters of the preachers at City Road, formed an. unoccupied 
space, in which the Methodists had open-air preaching. Mr. 

* In the Norwich Circuit he preached four hundred and fifty ser- 
mons, besides exhortations innumerable. 


Clarke preached there on this Sunday, While addressing 
his motley congregation, his attention was arrested by the 
singular conduct of two men, which was explained to him 
many years afterward by one of them, who said : " I was one 
of those men ; the person with me was my brother. We 
both heard the truth, and hated you for telling it to us. We 
thought you were too young to teach others, and resolved to 
pull you down and do you injury. For this purpose we made 
our way to the desk, taking our stand on each side of it, and 
encouraging each other. He beckoned me to do it, and I 
made signs to him, but neither of us seemed to have the 
power. We were secretly and unaccountably deterred. At 
length we began to attend to what was said, were both im- 
pressed with the force of truth, and I am now. through the 
mercy of God, a local preacher in the Methodist Society." 

Next day our itinerant turned his face toward the west, 
and on the 18th, passing through the scenes of his last year's 
labors, found himself again among his old friends at Trow- 
bridge, where, as at Bradford, Shcpton-Mullet, and some 
other places, he spent several useful days. Once more re- 
cruited, he went on his way, and entered the town of St. 
Austel on Saturday, August the 2Sth. He here learned that 
the circuit comprehended more than forty places His col- 
leagues were his former superintendent, Mr. Wrigley, and 
Mr. William Church. 

In Cornwall Mr. Clarke would find, even in that day, an 
intellectual element which differed greatly from that in Nor- 
folk and Suffolk. The people in this western peninsula are 
distinguished by a strong sentiment nf respect for real reli- 
gion, great reverence for learning, and a kind of natural lovo 
for metaphysical disquisition. Cornwall had in old times a 
strong character for devotion. The primitive British Chris- 
tianity found an a«ylum there Tn what we call "the dark 
ages," the religion of the times, such as it was. exerted over tho 


people of these coasts a lofty and powerful influence. Hence 
we find a great number of the parishes still called after the 
names of eminent saints, whose lives and labors wrought 
once great miracles of mercy among a not ungrateful people, 
and of whom a priest and poet,* who loves well to trace their 
haunts and commemorate their virtues, has thus sung : 

"They had their lodges in the wilderness, 
Or built them cells beside the shadowy sea ; 
And there they dwelt with angels like a dream ! 
So they unclosed the volume of the Book, 
And filled the fields of the evangelist 
With thoughts as sweet as flowers." 

But the later Romanists, and, subsequently to the Refor- 
mation, their Protestant successors, failed to perpetuate those 
zealous works, while the people gradually sunk both in mind 
and marals, till, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, 
the inhabitants of some parts of Cornwall had become little 
better than barbarians. It was then that Wesley came among 
them, and, with the still small voice of gos,pel truth, charmed 
them to Christian civilization, and brought them back to 
God. The first visit of this minister of Christ inaugurated 
a new era in the religious history of Cornwall, and from his 
days to our own the work of improvement has been steadily 

Mr. Clarke found that though "the circuit was exceed- 
ingly severe, the riding constant, the roads in general bad, 
and the accommodations in most places very indifferent," yet, 
unlike his last year's experience in Norfolk, his exhausting 
labors were attended by visible results. Crowded congrega- 
tions received him as a messenger from the Lord. Sinnejs 

* The llev. tt. S. Hawker, vicar of Morwenstow. The termina- 
tion of this latter name has a religious indication. Like Padstow, 
Michaelstow, etc., it points out a station for prayer. 


were converted, and believers edified in their holy faith. He 
has recorded that " there was a general spirit of hearing, and 
an almost universal revival of the work of God. Thousands 
flocked to the preaching ; the chapels could not contain the 
crowds that came ; and almost every week in the year he was 
obliged to preach in the open air, even at times when the 
rain was descending, and when the snow lay upon the earth. 
But prosperity made every thing pleasant ; for the toil, in 
almost every place, was compensated by a blessed ingathering 
of sinners to Christ, and a general renewing of the face of 
the country: — 

"In St. Austel the heavenly flame broke out in an extra- 
ordinary manner, and great numbers were there gathered into 
the fold of. Christ. Among those whom Mr. Clarke united 
to the Society, was Samuel Drew, then terminating his ap- 
prenticeship to a shoemaker, who afterwards became one of 
the first metaphysicians of the age ; with several others since 
distinguished cither in literature or mechanics." 

Of Mr. Drew, if space permitted, we could write many 
things expressive of a veneration awakened in the author's 
mind while hardly more than a child, by the reading of his 
"Original Essay on the Immortality ni' the Soul," and in 
later years strengthened and confirmed by occasional conver- 
sations with the great reasoner himself, in whose mental and 
moral character he saw much of the dialectical acumen of a 
Plato combined with much of the evangelic grace of a St. 
John. The history and example of his life have been set 
forth by his son.* Samuel Drew's works should not be suf- 

* Drew's earliest work was a Refutation of l'aine's "Age of Ren- 
son." It attracted the attention of tlie Rev. John YVhittakcr, the 
vicar of Ruan Langhorne. (some mile* between St. Austel and St. 
Mawes, ) who became sincerely attached to him, ami afforded him 
some invaluable aids in his literary enterprises. Whittaker himself 
was a man of massive erudition and resplendent eloquence His 


fered to pass into oblivion. The choicest of' them at least 
should have the benefit of a new and uniform edition, and so 
be commended to future time. In them the loVer of abstract 
meditation will always find something to please his peculiar 
taste, and never pervert his best principles, while "sitting 
apart" with one who 

"In elevated thoughts will reason high 
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate, 
Fixed fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute, 
But find no end." 

Mr. Clarke's ministry was prosecuted in a great variety of 
circumstances. The Methodists of Cornwall had not then 
the spacious temples which are now the ornaments of their 
towns, and where they assemble by hundreds and thousands 
to solemnize the worship of the Almighty. They met in 
those days under the roof of the cottage, in the kitchen of the 
farm-house, or in such humble erections, sacred to religion, 
as their scanty means would allow them to build; and not 
unfrequently, when the pressure was too great, preacher and 
people would go forth into the great temple of God, and wor- 
ship him under the firmament of his own power. Preaching 
out of doors would, however, subject him at times to the oppo- 
sition of such as were of the contrary side. And on one 
occasion Mr. Clarke was carried by the parish authorities to 
" the nearest magistrate," who happened to be the Reverend 

"Introduction to the Holy Scriptures," prefixed to Flindel's edition 
of the Bible, has a wonderful grandeur. His antiquarian works are 
classical. I once made a little pilgrimage to Ruan Langhorne to .see 
the place where he lived and died, a delightful rural spot on the 
banks of the Fal, in Koseland. The great scholar reposes in his 
church, beneath a plain gray stone within the communion rails, with 
the simple inscription, "John Whittaker, B.D., Vicar, Died 1808, 
aged 73." 


Sir Harry Trelawney, who had been a field-preacher himself, 
and that before his ordination. From him Mr. Clarke 
received nothing but encouragement. Sir Harry strongly 
advised him to get a regular license, and so put himself more 
effectually under the protection of the law. But to this 
measure Mr. Clarke had always an objection, as, not being a 
Dissenter in principle, he scrupled to take the oath prescribed 
only for such as are. In principle, he was always a moder- 
ate Church-of-England man ; and I should have mentioned, 
whil.e treating of the time he spent at Kingswood, that, a 
confirmation being held in Bristol just then, he availed him- 
self of the opportunity, and received that ordinance at the 
hands of Bishop Bagot. . But to return. About four months 
after his arrival in Cornwall, he suffered a violent fall from 
his horse, which had nearly proved fatal. The horse had 
formerly belonged to Mr. Wesley, but turned out a most 
dangerous beast, from the habit of ^tumbling; and, although 
he could scarcely ride him ten miles without at least one fall, 
yet sjich was the' feeling he had for the animal for his 
former owner's sake, that he had not as yet been prevailed 
on, though strongly advised, to part with him. 

On this occasion, however, the injury was too serious to 
warrant any further risk. TheYe was a hard frost that even- 
ing, and, "coming over the down above Rothcrnbridgo, the 
horse fell, according to custom, and pitched Mr. Clarke 
directly on his head. He lay some time senseless, but how 
long he could not tell. At length, having come to him- 
self a little, he felt as if in the agonies of death, and earnestly 
recommended his soul to his Redeemer. But he so far 
recovered as to be able, though with difficulty, to reach the 
house As a congregation attended, the good people, not 
knowing how much injury he had sustained, entreated him 
to preach. He could not draw a full breath, and was scarcely 
able to stand. Still he endeavored to recommend to them 


the salvation of God. That night he spent sleepless with 
pain. The next day a person was sent with him to stay him 
up in the saddle, that he might get to Port Isaac, where he 
could obtain some medical help. Every step the horse took 
seemed like a dart run through his body. He got at last to 
Port Isaac. Doctor Twentyman," an excellent physician of 
the place, "was sent for, and bled him. It appeared that 
some of the vertebras of the spine had been injured. He 
was desired to remain in the house some days, which he 
could not consent to do, as there were four places where he 
was expected to preach on the following day; and this he 
did at the most serious risk of his life. From this hurt he 
did not fully recover for more than three years." 

With the worthy physician of Port Isaac he formed a 
profitable intimacy. He was a singular character, deep in 
the study of alchemy. He told Mr. Clarke he had dreamed 
of him before he ever saw him. He then described the 
schoolyard at Kingswood where he met him in the dream, 
drawing in words a graphic picture of the spot, though he 
had never been there, and had never heard it described by 
others. He recommended alchemy as a study which brings 
a man nearer to the Creator. Mr. Clarke had many inter- 
views with him, and never, as he says, without being the 
better for them. 

To another gentleman also, Mr. Richard Mabyn, of Camel- 
ford, he ever after felt a grateful sense of obligation. At his 
house the young man found what he had long been a stranger 
to — the comfort of a home ; and in his letters written to Mr. 
Mabyn, long years after, he still expresses his affectionate 
acknowledgment of kindnesses in which that good man proved 
to him at once a teacher, a parent, and a friend. 

He continued to be cheered in his work by tokens of the 
Divine benediction. In a letter to a friend at Trowbridge, 
he says, "Among the children there is a most blessed move- 


ment. Numbers of them, being made sensible of their need 
of Christ, have set their feet in the paths of the Lord, and 
are running with steady pace to their Heavenly Father's 
kingdom ; and are, contrary to the nature of things, turned 
fathers to the aged. You may remember that I wrote to 
you something concerning a Magdalene whom I admitted 
into Society. Her character was so bad before, that almost 
the whole society opposed her admittance ; some threatening 
to leave the class. I withstood them all, and proclaimed 
from the pulpit that I would admit the most devil-like souls 
in the place, provided they would cast aside their sins and 
come to Jesus. After she had been hindered some little 
time, she at last got leave to meet ; and, O, how wonderfully 
did God confound the wisdom of the prudent ! ever since, she 
has walked and spoken agreeably to her profession. At St. 
Austel the Lord has lately laid to his hand, and there is such 
a revival now in it as I have never seen in any place before. 
Numbers are lately joined ; and our chapel, though the 
largest in the circuit, is so filled, that the people are obliged 
to. stand on the seats to make room ; yet, after all, many are 
obliged to return home, not being able to g.iin admittance. 
Last Sunday night I preached there, and was forced to enter 
at the window to get to the pulpit." 

The incessant efforts of this year wore him down grievously 
Five hundred and sixty-eight sermons, many of them preached 
out of doors in all weathers, besides the other duties of the 
Methodist itinerancy, had made, by the time the Conference 
drew nigh, a serious inroad upon the vigor of his constitution. 
His appetite failed, and health rapidly declined. Nature 
called for restj but the necessities of the work to which he 
had committed himself gave him but little time for respite ; 
for, so early as the 27th of August in the following Mothod- 
istio year, we find hhn entering on the duties of his new 
appointment at Plymouth. 


Mr. Clarke's early labors in the west established a sym- 
pathy between himself and the Methodists of Cornwall, which 
lasted through his life, and which, on their part, still sur- 
vives in the veneration with which their children regard his 
very name. He was certainly enabled to set before them, 
both in doctrine and life, the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus: "by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffer- 
ing, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by 
the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of 
righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor 
and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as unknown, 
and yet well known ; as dying, and yet living ; as chastened, 
and not killed ; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, 
yet making many rich." 

Such had been the unction and effectiveness of his popu- 
lar ministry, that the people in the St. Austel Circuit were 
earnestly desirous of obtaining his services another year, and 
a request to that effect had been lodged with the Conference, 
to which Mr. Wesley was at first disposed to give his con- 
sent. But an unquiet state of things had latterly prevailed 
at Plymouth, which had just issued in the secession of a 
strong party from the society ; and Mr. Wesley, who knew 
well how to put the right man in the right place, had 
already formed such an estimate of the talents and piety of 
Mr. Clarke, as to be assured that the pulpit he occupied 
would become a rallying-point to re-gather the scattered 
flock. The event fulfilled his expectations; and in his new 
sphere of labor our young evangelist was graciously blessed, 
and made a blessing. His colleagues were Messrs. John 
Mason and John King. Of the former, whose name is yet, 
and ever will be, much honored by the Methodist people, Mr. 
Clarke has in his " Letter to a Preacher" put on record the 
following memorial : " Mr. Mason made it the study of his 
life to maintain his character as a preacher, a Christian, and 


a man ; the latter word taken in its noblest sense : and he 
did this by cultivating his mind in every branch of useful 
knowledge within his reaoh; and his profiting was great. 
In the history of the world, and of the Church, he was very 
extensively read. With anatomy and medicine he was well 
acquainted ; and his knowledge of natural history, and par- 
ticularly botany, was ample. In the latter science he was 
inferior to few. His botanical collections would do credit to 
the first museums in Europe ; and especially his collections 
of- English plants, all gathered, preserved, classified, and 
described by himself. But this was his least praise : he laid 
all his attainments in the natural sciences under contribution 
to his theologic studies; nor could it be ever said that he 
neglected his duty as a Christian minister to cultivate his 
taind in philosophical pursuits. He was a Christian man, 
and in his life and spirit adorned the doctrine of God his 
Saviour. The propriety and dignity of his conduct were, 
through the whole of his life, truly exemplary ; and his 
piety toward God, and his benevolence toward men, were as 
deep as they were sincere." 

Of Mr. Clarke's own mental development and literary 
studies we will treat more fully in a subsequent chapter. It 
may be remarked, however, that, while in this circuit, his 
intellectual powers seem to have made a great stride in the 
acquisition of positive knowledge, and in the use of tin- 
faculties by which this is combined for use, and employed 
for instruction. He read* much and well, and had the 
advantage of access to works from which his inquiring 
mind had hitherto been debarred. 

The year passed on in peace; with his colleagues he lived 
in fraternal harmony, and the troubles of the society were 
lulled into Christian repose. One little ruffle only seems to 
have occurred, and this of a nature almost too trifling to 
merit notice, unless considered in connection with one of 


those few but .strong prejudices which characterized Dr. 
Adam Clarke — a kind of distaste for, or a disparagement of, 
the use of music in the worship of God. We will give the 
incident at Plymouth in his own way : — 

" This year the society at Dock built a new chapel at 
Windmill Hill, much more commodious than that which they 
had opposite the Gunwharf Gate ; but so mueh had the con- 
gregations increased, that this new erection was soon found 
to be too small. When the seats of this chapel were in 
course of being let, he noticed for the first time, what he 
had occasion to notice with pain often after — how difficult it 
is to satisfy a choir of singers ; of how little use they are, in 
general; and how dangerous they are at all times to the 
peace of the Church of Christ. There was here a choir, 
and some among them who understood music as well as most 
in the nation; and some who, taken individually, were both 
sensible and pious. These, in their collective capacity, 
wished to have a particular seat, with which the trustees 
could not conveniently accommodate them, because of their 
engagements with other persons. When the singers found 
they could not have the places they wished, they came to a 
private resolution not to sing in the chapel. Of this resolu- 
tion the preachers knew nothing. It was Mr. Clarke's turn 
to preach in the chapel at the Gunwharf the next Sabbath 
morning at seven, and there they intended to give the first 
exhibition of their dumb-show. He gave out, as usual, the 
page and measure of the hymn. All was silent. He looked 
to see if the singers were in their place ; and, behold, the 
choir was full, even unusually so. He, thinking that they 
could not find the page, or did not know the measure, gave 
out both again ; and then looked them all full in the face, 
which they returned with great steadiness of countenance. 
He then raised the tune himself, and the congregation con- 
tinued the singing. Not knowing what the matter was, he 


gave out the next hymn, as he had given out the former, 
again and again ; still they were silent. He then raised the 
tune, and the congregation sang as before. Afterward he 
learned that, as the trustees would not indulge them with the 
places they wished, they were determined to avenge their 
quarrel on Almighty God ; for he should have no praise from 
them, since they could not have the seats they wished. The 
impiety of this conduct appeared to him in a most hideous 
point of view. . They continued this ungodly farce, hoping 
to reduce the trustees, preachers, and society to the neces- 
sity of capitulating at discretion ; but the besieged, by 
appointing a man to be always present to raise the tunes, cut 
off the whole choir at a stroke. From this time the liveli- 
ness and piety of the singing were considerably improved." 

On this question of congregational singing, Christians in 
general have but little difference of opinion. The God of 
nature has friven to music its eternal laws ; and the God of 
grace has ordained by revelation that this most beautiful pro- 
vision for the solace of our spiritual life shall be consecrated 
to his service as a vehicle of instruction, and an expressive 
token of worship. So it was in the tabernacle and temple of 
old; so it is, by apostolic precept, in the Christian services; 
so it will be in the solemnities of the resurrection-life of the 
world to come. As to the abuses of it by frivolous or weak- 
minded persons, the Church has it ever in her power to 
restrain them; but the use of it, if we read our Bibles 
rightly, she has not the liberty to abolish. 

The Lord's blessing so rested upon the ministry of his ser- 
vants among a society which they had found in a distracted 
and dwindling condition, thajt, at the end of the year, they 
had the gratification to report not only the return of many 
of the wanderers, but an accession of more than a hundred 
members. The congregations, too, had become immense. 
The people of the towns, and the marine population of the 

110 LIFE Or THE 

ships in the Hanioaze, came in crowds to hear the word of 
God. Among the naval men who attended .Mr. Clarke's 
ministry here, he mentions Mr. Hore, afterward purser of 
the " Venerable," in which Admiral Duncan commanded 
when he beat the Dutch under De 'Winter. The friendly 
warrant-officer lent Mr. Clarke some good books, and among 
others Chambers's Encyclopaedia, which was always a 
favorite work of reference with him. Mr. Hore died when 
serving in the fleet off Egypt. Another was Cleland Kirk- 
patrick, who had lost an arm in an engagement with Paul 
Jones, the American pirate-commodore. Kirkpatrick, who 
was now rated on board the " Cambridge," was brought 
under the power of the gospel, joined the society, became 
an itinerant preacher, fought the good fight of Christ's ser- 
vice, and finished his course with joy. 

At the Conference of 1786 a new field of enterprise was 
opened to Mr. Clarke. The people at Plymouth had been 
looking forward to the renewal of his services among them ; 
but their wishes, as well as his own, were somewhat pain- 
fully crossed, by an unexpected appointment to the Norman 
Isles. In one of that beautiful group of islands Methodism 
had already found a promising lodgment, through the labors 
of Robert Carr Braekenbury, Esq., of Raithby Hall, Lin- 
colnshire ; a gentleman who, having tasted himself of the 
good word of God, had for some years consecrated his time 
and talents to the great work of making it known to his fel- 
low-men. He was one of the lay-coadjutors of Mr. Wesley, 
and in fact had the status of a regular itinerant preacher. 
Having been led by Divine Providence to establish his resi- 
dence for a time in Jersey, he had entered upon a series of 
evangelic operations there, which were followed with such 
propitious results as to induce him to apply to the Conference 
for the appointment of another preacher, who should extend 


his labors to the neighboring islands. The Conference 
knew that Mr. Clarke possessed already some knowledge 
of the French tongue ; and this circumstance, combined with 
thf admirable attributes of character which they saw 
unfolding themselves in him, inspired the leading men of 
that body with the wish that he should be intrusted with the 
mission. He seems himself to have yielded to this arrange- 
ment more from a submission to the will of his fathers and 
brethren, than from any pleasurable impulse toward it in his 
own mind. He was yet young in years and experience ; and 
the anticipation of having to bear, in an isolated station, the 
responsibility of an important undertaking, threw the sha- 
dows of anxiety upon his mind. He 'was, nevertheless, 
prepared to encounter any difficulty, and to bear any incon- 
venience, which might occur in the well-marked path of 
duty. " I am willing," said he, in a letter to Mr. Brackenbury, 
" to accompany you to the islands. I desire only to receive 
apd to do good ; and it matters little to me in what depart- 
ment of the vineyard I am, if these ends are accomplished. 
I feel God is here ; and this is a powerful incentive to 
obedience, and renders duty delightful." As to difficulty, 
privation, and opposition, he had already counted the cost, 
and had learned that his vocation as a laborer in the king- 
dom and patience of Jesus Christ was to do and suffer, and 
through that ordeal pass to the triumph and repose predes- 
tined to the faithful. He had now taken for his motto the 
sentence of the Grecian eage, " Stand thou as a beaten anvil 
to the stroke ; for it is the property of a good warrior to be 
flayed alive, and yet to conquer." Nor this alone : there was 
another which lay yet deeper in his soul : " When I am 
weak, then am I strong :" " I can do all things through 
Christ which strengtheneth me." He now held himself in 
readiness to sail with Mr. Brackenbury, who had gone down to 


his seat in Lincolnshire, to make such arrangements as would 
permit him to continue for a while longer his residence in 
the islands. 

Some delay having occurred, Mr. Clarke took the oppor- 
tunity to visit his brother Tracy, who was now settled in a 
medical practice at Maghull, near Liverpool ; and, during the 
few days of this visit, preached in several places of that 
neighborhood. Then, repairing to Southampton, by way of 
Bristol, he was refreshed in body and mind by a sojourn 
among his friends at Trowbridge, with some of whom he had 
formed a religious and abiding intimacy ; and among them, 
with her who was the destined companion of his life, and for 
whom friendship was now fast strengthening'in his bosom into 
a most sacred and perpetual love. • 

At Southampton he had expected to find Mr. Bracken- 
bury, but a fortnight further elapsed before he had the plea- 
sure of meeting .him. The interim was spent, partly .at 
Southampton, and partly at Winchester, iu both which places 
he preached several times. In the cathedral of the latter 
city he passed many hours with a solemn interest, and stored 
the pages of his journal with descriptive notes on the various 
antiquities of that venerable pile, and with meditations sug- 
gested by the sight of them. I select two of these entries, 
as giving a favorable idea of the manner in which this young 
man had schooled his mind to profitable thought. 


" How little is worldly grandeur worth, together with the 
most splendid distinctions which great and pompous titles, 
or even important offices, confer upon men ! They vanish as 
a dissipated vapor, and the proprietors of them go their 
way — and where are they ? or of what acoount ? Death is 
the common lot of all men ; and the honors of the great, and 
the abjectness of the mean, are equally unseen in the €omb. 


This I saw abundantly exemplified to-day, while viewing the 
remains of several kings, Saxon and Briti-h, whose very 
names, much less their persons and importance, are scarcely 
collectible from ' rosy damps, mouldy shrines dust and cob- 
webs.' This exhibits a proper estimate of worldly ylorv, 
and verifies the saying of the wise man, that 'a living dog 
is better than a dead lion.' The meanest living slave is 
preferable to all these dead potentates. Is there any true 
greatness but that of the soul ? And has the soul itself 
any true nobility, unless it is begotten from above, and 
has the spirit and lpve of Christ to actuate it? The title 
of Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ I prefer to the glory 
of kings. This will stand me in stead, when the other is 
eternally forgotten. 

"In the time of the civil wars, the tombs of several of our 
kings, buried in this cathedral, were broken up and rifled, 
and the bones thrown indiscriminately about. After the 
Restoration they were collected, and put into large chests, 
-which are placed in different parts of the choir, and labelled, 
as containing bones of ancient kings, but which could not be 


" Why is it that God has observed so slow a climax in 
bringing the knowledge of his will and of their interest to 
mankind? e. //., giving a little under the patriarchal, an in- 
crease under the Mosaic, and the fulness of the blessing 
under the Christian dispensation ? It is true, he could have 
given the whole in the beginning to Adam ; but that this 
would not have as effectually answered the Divine purpose, 
may be safely asserted. 

" God, like his instrument nature, delights in progression ; 
and though the works of both in titnint were finished from 
the beginning, they are not brought forward to complete ex- 


istcncc but by various accretions. Anil this appears to be 
done that the blessings resulting from both may be properly 
valued; as, in their approach, men have time to discover their 
necessities; and when relieved, after a thorough consciousness 
of their urgency, they see and feel the propriety of being 
grateful to their kind Benefactor. 

"Were God to bestow his blessings before the want of 
them had been truly felt, men would not be grateful. He 
gives his blessings so that they may be truly esteemed, and 
he himself become the sole object of our trust; and this end 
he secures by a gradual communication of his bounties, as 
they are felt to be necessary. He brings forward his dis- 
pensations of mercy and love, as he sees men prepared 
to receive and value them ; and, as one makes way for an- 
other, the soul is rendered capable of more extended views 
and enjoyments: so the Divine Being causes every succeeding 
dispensation to excel that which preceded it — in light, life, 
power, and holiness. 

" We first teach our children the power of the letters — 
then to combine consonants and vowels to make syllables — 
to unite syllables into words, and then to assort words into 
regular discourse. To require them to attempt the latter 
before they had studied the former, would be absurd. The 
first step qualifies for the second, and that for the third. 
Thus God deals with the universe, and thus with every. in- 
dividual : every communication is a kind of seed, which, if 
cultivated, brings forth fruit. 'Light is sown for. the right- 
eous, and gladness for the upright in heart.' " 

At length Mr. Brackenbury reached Southampton. They 
embarked in a Jersey packet ; and, landing on the twenty- 
sixth of October in St. Aubin's Bay, they walked to St. 
Helier's, where Mr. Clarke found himself that evening an 
inmate in the house which Mr. Brackenbury had engaged as 
bis residence. 




The Norman Isles, those beautiful spots which adorn the 
French waters of La Manche, were now to be the scenes of 
evangelic agencies whose results have made a multitude of 
families in them the better for time and eternity. Some 
while before the arrival of Mr. Brackenbury upon those 
shores, several persons in Jersey had been awakened to a 
concern for the salvation of their souls, and had formed 
themselves into a kind of religious community for mutual 
edification. They Were a little flock without a shepherd, 
and too feeble in their circumstances to attempt a regular 
church-organization under a stated ministry. A regiment of 
soldiers arrived just then from England, among whom were 
some pious men who had heard Captain Webb preach at 
Southampton and Winchester. The word of truth ministered 
by that good servant of God and the king had been so blessed 
to them, as to urge them to recommend to these Jersey Chris- 
tians to open a communication with Mr. Wesley, in the hope 
that he would be induced to supply them with one of his 
preachers. They did so, through the intervention of Mr. 
.Jasper Winscomb, one of the early Methodists of Hampshire 
At the following Conference of 17SI|, Mr. Wesley read Mr. 
Winscoinb's letter to the assembly, and asked, "Whether 
any preacher found it in his heart to obey the call V It was 
then that Mr. Brackenbury offered his services. In him the 


Conference did not fail to see the man every way designated 
by Providence and grace to initiate this new enterprise under 
the most favorable auspices. Nor were they disappointed by 
the events. He lost no time in fulfilling his commission. 
Having found his way to Jersey, he hired an old " religious 
house," which happened to be vacant, near the sea, and com- 
menced the public preaching of the gospel. A procedure so 
novel excited conflicting feelings among the people of the 
vicinity : some were pleased and grateful ; others stirred up 
to opposition, and that, at times, of a riotous and dangerous 
character. Mr. Brackenbury kept steadily to his work, and 
soon began to make a sound impression. Another place was 
opened at St. Mary's, and then another. Some pious young 
men of good talent were raised up to exhort, and then to act 
as local preachers ; societies were formed : in short, the 
Methodist tree had struck its roots. 

When Mr. Clarke joined Mr. Brackenbury as his col- 
league, they made no delay to extend their operations to 
the other islands. Accordingly, after preaching a few times 
in Jersey, Mr. Clarke proceeded to attempt the introduction 
of the good cause into Guernsey. At the present time the 
English language is fast superseding the French in both the 
greater islands ; and even in those days the majority of the 
townspeople were conversant with both tongues ; so that the 
missionary found no difficulty in getting an audience, though, 
as yet, too little accustomed to speak French to venture a 
sermon in it. His first preaching-place in Guernsey was a 
large warehouse at Les Terres, just without St. Peter-le- 
Port; and among the congregation he found some who were 
willing to open their houses in different parts of the town for 
occasional services. Under these circumstances, he com- 
menced those three years which have borne such ample 
fruit unto life eternal. In some neighborhoods he found 
French indispensable ; and, in conducting" a service in that 


language, was under the necessity, to him a disagreeable one, 
of reading a discourse which he had previously prepared. 
While the good, word sank into the hearts of not a few with 
saving effect in both islands, it stirred up a spirit of opposi- 
tion in those who were of the contrary side. Some specimens 
of this we may extract from his own statements. 

'•One Sabbath morning, Mr. Clarke, accompanied by Cap- 
tain and Lieutenant W., having gone to preach at La Valle — 
a low part of Guernsey, always surrounded by the sea at 
high water, to which at such times there is no access but by 
means of a sort of causeway — a multitude of unruly people, 
with drums, horns, and various offensive weapons, assembled 
at the bridge, to prevent his, entering the islet. The tide 
being a little out, he ventured to ride across about a mile 
below the bridge without their perceiving him, got to the 
house, and had nearly finished his discourse before the mob 
could assemble. At last they came in full power, and with 
fell purpose. The captain of a man-of-war, the naval lieu- 
tenant, and the other gentlemen who had accompanied him, 
mounted their horses, and rode off at full gallop, leaving him 
in the hands of the mob. That he might not be able to 
escape, they cut his bridle in pieces. Nothing intimidated, 
he went among them, got upon an eminence, and began to 
speak to them. The drums and horns ceased, the majority 
became quiet, only a few from the outskirts throwing stones 
and dirt, from which, however, he managed to defend him- 
stlf ; and after about an hour they permitted him to depart 
in peace. On returning to St. Peter's, he found his naval 
heroes in great safety. 

" He had a more narrow escape one evening at St. Aubin's, 
in Jersey. A desperate mob of some hundreds, with almost 
all instruments of destruction, assembled round the house in 
which he was preaching, which was a wooden building with 
five windows. At their first approach, the principal part of 

118 lilFK OF THE 

the congregation issued forth, and provided for their own 
safety. The society alone, about thirteen persons, remained 
with their preacher. The mob, finding that all with whom 
they might claim brotherhood had escaped, resolved to pull 
down the house, and bury the preacher and his friends in the 
ruins. 31 r. Clarke exhorted the friends to trust in that God 
who was able to save, when one of the mob presented a pistol 
at him through the window opposite to the pulpit, which 
twice flashed in the pan. Others had got crows, and were 
busily employed in sapping the foundation of the house. 
Mr. Clarke, perceiving this, said to the people, 'If we stay 
here, we shall be all destroyed. I will go out among them ; 
they seek not you, but me : after they have got me, they will 
permit you to pass unmolested.' They besought him with 
tears not to leave the house, as he would infallibly be mur- 
dered. He, seeing that there was no time to be lost, as they 
continued to sap the foundations, said, 'I will instantly go 
out among them in the name of God.' 'Je vous accompag- 
nerai,' ('I will go with you,') said a stout young man. As 
the house was assailed with showers of stones, he met a 
volley of these, as he opened and passed through the door. 
It was a clear full-moon night, after a heavy storm of hail 
and rain. He walked forward. The mob divided to the 
right and left, and made an ample passage for him and the 
young man who followed him to pass through. This they 
did to the very skirts of the hundreds who were assembled 
with drums, horns, spades, forks, bludgeons, etc., to take the 
life of a man whose only crime was proclaiming to lost sin- 
ners redemption through the blood of the cross. During the 
whole time of his passing through the mob, there was a death- 
like silence, nor was there any motion but what was neces- 
sary to give him a free passage. Either their eyes were 
holden that they could not know him ; or they were so over- 
awed by the power of God, that they could not lift a hand 


or utter a word against him. The poor people, finding all 
was quiet, came out a little after, and passed away, not one 
of them being either hurt or molested. In a few minutes, 
the mob seemed to awake as from a dream, and, finding that 
their prey had been plucked out of their teeth, they knew 
not how, attacked the house afresh, broke every square of 
glass in the windows, and scarcely left a whole tile upon the 
roof. He afterwards learned that their design was to put 
him in the sluice of an overshot water-mill, by which he 
must have been crushed in pieces ! 

"The next Lord's day he went to the same place. The 
mob rose again ; and, when they began to make a tumult, he 
called on them to hear him a few moments ; when those who 
appeared to have most influence grew silent, and stilled the 
rest. He spoke to them to this effect: 'I have never done 
any of you any harm ; my heartiest wish was. and is, to do 
you good. I could tell you many things, by which you migh* 
grow wise unto salvation, would you but listen to them. 
AVhy do you persecute a man who never can be your enemy, 
and wishes to show that he is your friend ? You cannot be 
Christians, who seek to destroy a man because he tells you 
the truth. But are you even men ? Do you deserve that 
name ? I am but an individual, and unarmed ; and hun- 
dreds of you join together, to attack and destroy this single 
unarmed man. Is not this to act like cowards and assassins? 
I am a man and a Christian. I fear you not as a man : I 
would not turn my back upon the best of you, and could 
probably put your chief under my fqet. St. Paul the apostle 
was assailed in like manner by the heathens : they also were 
dastards and cowards. The Scripture does not call them 
men ; but, according to the English translation, certain lewd 
fellows of the baser sort ; or, according to your own, which 
you better understand, Us batteurs depavi — la canaiUe. 0, 
shame on you, to come in multitudes to attack an inoffensive 


stranger in your island, who comes only to call you from 
wickedness to serve the living God, and to show you the way 
which will lead you to everlasting blessedness !' He paused : 
there was a shout, ' He is a clever fellow : he shall preach, 
and we will hear him.' They were as good as their word : 
he proceeded without any further hindrance from them, and 
they never after gave him any molestation. 

"The little preaching-house being nearly destroyed, he 
some Sabbaths afterward attempted to preach out of doors. 
Tl^e mob having given up persecution, one of the magistrates 
of St. Aubin took up the business, came to the place with a 
mob of his own, and the drummer of the regiment stationed 
at the place ; pulled down Mr. Clarke while he was at prayer, 
and delivered him into the hands of the canaille he had 
brought with him. The drummer attended him out of the 
town, beating the ' Rogues' March' on his drum, and beating 
tim frequently with the drumsticks, from the strokes of 
which, and other misusages, he did not recover for some 
weeks. But he wearied out all his persecutors. There were 
several who heard the word gladly, and for their sakes he 
freely ventured himself, till at last all opposition ceased." 

From the rude encounters he had thus sometimes to meet 
in the discharge of his mission-work, Mr. Clarke found a 
grateful relief in Guernsey in the privilege of residing with 
the family of Mr. De Jersey, at Mon Plaisir, an old manor 
farm-house, about a mile from St. Peter's. Every attribute 
of this favored spot,* the Hesperide climate, the scenery, the 

* I Speak of Mon Plaisir as I knew it some years ago, and as, I 
presume, it still is. In -writing about the fertility of the islands, Dr. 
Clarke said, that he had seen cabbages in Jersey seven feet high. 
In Mr. De Jersey's garden there were gathered daily, Sundays ex- 
cepted, for nearly six weeks, from fifty to one hundred pounds' 
weight of strawberries. All other fruit in proportion, both in quan- 
tity and flavor. In Mr. Brackenbury's garden, at St. Helier's, he 
cut down n bunch of grapes which weighed about twenty pounds 


commodious and tranquil mansion and gardens, where the 
myrtle and laurels rise to the proportions of stately trees, and 
the orange ripens in the open air, all combined to render it a 
most desirable asylum for the student bent on learning, or the 
laborer sighing for repose. The writer of these pages can 
never forget the pleasure with which, during a ministerial 
residence in Guernsey, he often visited this spot; where, 
under the leafy shade of a bower formed of the entwined 
boughs of a cluster of fig-trees, the family used to tell him 
how, in that very summer-house, Dr. Adam Clarke had spent 
so many hours in reading his Bible and writing his sermons. 
The family of Mon Plaisir, of whom the Rev. Henry De 
Jersey, now of the French Conference, is one of the worthy 
representatives, embraced the cause of Methodism with their 
whole heart. One of the first of the many good offices which 
the elder Mr. De Jersey performed for the service of the 
good cause among them, was to build a room on the north 
side of the house that should serve for a domestic chapel, to 
which he could invite the inhabitants round about. Mr. 
Clarke, as the chaplain of the place, held stated services in 
this room on Thursday and Saturday evenings, offering the 
first prayer in English, and preaching the sermon in French, 
with a prayer in the same language 

In these sequestered shades our friend applied himself with 
new vigor to those more solemn studies which were destined 
to give character to his after-life. He had long felt that the 
vow, so foolishly made four years before, to have nothing 
more to do with Greek and Latin, was wrong in itself, as well 
as unadvised, and that he could conscientiously renounce it. 
Tn resuming those languages, ho found that long cessation 
from classical reading rendered it necessary for him to begin 
again in that department with the grammars themselves 
But, having by dint of effort recovered his lost ground, he 
brought hia new acquisitions to bear upon the study of the 


Septuagint Bible and Greek Testament, for the purposes and 
in the manner to which we shall have occasion to refer more 
fully hereafter. It was now, also, that with a moderate 
knowledge of Hebrew he struck out into the study of Chal- 
dec and Syriac, by the help of Bishop Walton's "Introduc- 
tion to the Oriental Languages," the Scholia Syriava of 
Leusden, and some other works to which he had access in the 
public library at Jersey. Before he left the islands, he ob- 
tained possession of a copy of Walton's Polyglot Bible of his 
own. True to those instincts which Providence and grace 
had implanted in his heart, he began even now to turn this 
biblical knowledge to account, by committing to paper memo- 
randa for notes on the Gospels, which formed the first nucleus 
of his future Commentary. 

Meantime the great objects of his mission were carried on 
with energy. In the course of the year he was moved to 
attempt the introduction of preaching into the island of Al- 
derney. In recounting to Mr. Wesley the manner in which 
this was carried into effect, he says : " My design being made 
public, many hindrances were thrown in 'my way. It was 
reported that the governor had threatened to prohibit my 
landing, and that, in case he found me on the island, he 
would transport me to the Caskets, (a rock in the sea, about 
three leagues west of Alderney, on which there is a light- 
house.) These threatenings, being published here, rendered 
it very difficult forme to procure a passage, as several of my 
friends were against my going, fearing bad consequences ; and 
none of the captains who traded to the island were willing to 
take me, fearing to incur the displeasure of the governor ; 
notwithstanding that I offered them any thing they could rea- 
sonably demand for my passage. I thought at last I should 
be obliged to hire one of the English packets, as I was deter- 
mined to go, by God's grace, at all events. 

"Having waited a long time, watching sometimes day and 


night, I at last got a vessel bound for the island, in which I 
embarked ; and after a few hours, though not without some 
fatigue and sickness, we came to the south-west side of the island, 
where we were obliged to cast anchor, as the tide was too far 
spent to carry us round to the harbor. The captain put me 
and some others on shore with the boat. I climbed the rocks 
and got to the top of the island, thanking God for my pas- 
sage. But now I had some new difficulties to encounter : I 
knew not where to go ; I had no acquaintance in the place, nor 
had any one invited me thither. For some time I was per- 
plexed, till that word of the God of missionaries came pow- 
erfully to me : ' Into whatsoever house ye enter first, say, 
Peace be to this house. And in the same house remain, 
eating and drinking such things as they give.' From this 
I took courage, and proceeded to the town, which is about a 
mile distant from the harbor. After having walked some way 
into it, I took particular notice of a very poor cottage, into 
which I felt a strong inclination to enter. I did so, with a 

Peace be unto this house,' and found in it an old man and 
woman, who, having understood my business, bade me wel- 
come to the best food they had, to a little chamber where I 
might sleep, and (what was still more acceptable) to their 
house to preach in. On hearing this, I saw plainly that the 
hand of the Lord was upon me for good, and 1 thanked him, 
and took courage 

"Being unwilling to lose anytime, T told them I would 
preach that evening it they could procure ""' a congrega- 
tion. This strange news spread rapidly through the town, 
and long before the appointed hour a multitude of people 
nocked together to whom I spoke of the kingdom of <lod. 

It was with difficulty I could persuade them to go away, after 

promising to preach to them again the next evening. 

•I then retired to my little apartment, where I had 

scarcely rested twenty minutes, when the good woman of the 


house came and entreated me to come down and preacli again, 
as several of the gentry, among whom was one of the jus- 
tices, were come to hear what I had to say. I stepped down 
immediately, and found the house once more quite full. 
Deep attention sat on every face, while I showed the great 
need they stood in of a Saviour, and exhorted them to turn 
at once from their iniquities to the living God. I continued 
in this good work about an hour, having received peculiar 
assistance from on high ; and concluded with informing them 
what my design was in visiting the island, and the motives 
which had induced me. Having ended, the justice stepped 
forward, exchanged a few very civil words with me, and de- 
sired to see the hook out of which I had been speaking. I 
gave it into his hand : he looked over it with attention, and 
asked me several questions, all which I answered apparently 
to his satisfaction. Having bestowed a few more hearty 
advices on him and the congregation, they all quietly departed, 
and the concern evident on many of their countenances fully 
proved that God had added his testimony to that of his feeble 
servant. The next evening I preached again to a large 
attentive company, to whom, I trust, the word of the Lord 
came not in vain. 

" But a singular thing took place the next day. While I 
sat at dinner, a constable, from a person in authority, came 
to solicit my immediate appearance at a place oalled the 
Bray, (where several respectable families live, and where the 
governor's stores are kept,) to preacli to a company of gen- 
tlemen and ladies, who were waiting, and at whose desire one 
of the large store-rooms was prepared for that purpose. 1 
went without delay, and was brought by the lictor to his 
master's apartment, who behaved with much civility, told me 
the reason of his sending for me, and begged I would 
preach without delay. I willingly consented, and in a quar- 
ter of an hour a large company was assembled. The gentry 


were not so partial to themselves as to exclude several sailors, 
smugglers, and laborers, from hearing with them. The Lord 
was with me, and enabled me to explain, from Prov xii. 26, 
the character and conduct of the righteous, and to prove 
that such an one was beyond all comparison more excellent 
than his ungodly neighbor, however great, rich, wise, or im- 
portant he might be in the eyes of men. All heard with deep 
attention, save an English gentleman, so called, who walked 
out about the middle of the discourse. 

'• The next Sabbath morning, being invited to preach in 
the English church, I gladly accepted it ; and in the even- 
ing preached in the large warehouse at the Bray, to a much 
larger congregation, composed of the prinoipal gentry of the 
island, together with justices, jurats, constables, etc. The 
Lord was again with me, and enabled me to declare his 
sacred counsel without fear. 

" The next day, being the time appointed for my return, 
many were unwilling that I should go ; saying, < We have 
much need of such preaching, and such a preacher: we wish 
you would abide in the island, and go back no more.' The 
tide serving at about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, I 
attended at the beach, in order to embark; but — the utmost 
of the flood did not set the vessel afloat. I then returned 
to the town : the people were glad of my detention, and 
earriesly Imped that the vessel might be set fast, at least till 
the next spring-tides. Many came together in the evening, 
tn whom I again preached with uncommon liberty; and 
God appeared to be more eminently present than before. 
This induced me to believe that my detention was of the 
Lord, and that I had not before fully delivered his counsel. 
The vessel being got off the same night about twelve o'clock, 
I recommended them to God, promised them a preacher 
shortly, and setting sail arrived in Guernsey in about twenty- 
one hours. Glory be to God for ever! Amen." 


But this uninterrupted tension of mind^ and extraordinary- 
labor of body, began to make serious inroads on his consti- 
tution, and in the spring of this year reduced Mr. Clarke to 
the brink of the grave. A complication of disorders seemed 
to have fastened on him. He had been declining for some 
weeks, till at length he sank in utter prostration. We have 
a memorandum of this illness from himself, written shortly 
after to a friend in England : " Being attacked," says he, 
" from so many quarters, there was little prospect of my lin- 
gering long, especially as I had been slowly wasting for 
some months. The people were greatly alarmed, and pro- 
claimed a day of fasting and prayer, to snatch their poor 
preacher from the grave. Their sorrow caused me to feel ; 
for myself I could neither weep nor repine ; but I could 
hardly forbear the former on their account. The doctor on 
his second visit found that I was severely attacked by jaun- 
dice, and so took the cure of that first in hand ; but withal 
observed, that I should not regain my health properly till I 
resumed my former habit of riding. Through much mercy, 
I am now greatly mended ; my cough is almost entirely re- 
moved. I am yet confined to my room, and am very much 
enfeebled. Indeed, considered abstractedly from my spirit, 
I am little else than a quantity of bones and sinews, wrapped 
up in none of the best-colored skin. When almost 

at the worst, I opened my Septuagint on the ninety-first 
Psalm, and on the last three verses, which are much more 
emphatical than the English, particularly the middle clause 
of the fifteenth verse — '/ am with him in affliction.' Blessed 
be my God and Saviour, I have found it to be so." 

A voyage across the Channel, and a visit to some loved 
friends in England, contributed to restore his wasted strength. 
Two or three incidents on the passage back are worthy 
of preservation, as unfolding some personal characteristics 
At Southampton, having a few hours to spare before em- 


barking, he preached by special request to a miscellaneous 
congregation, who heard with great seriousness, and some of 
whom escorted him to the boat, " wishing him more blessed- 
ness than their tongues could express." Among the passengers 
were a party of military officers, a lieutenant in the navy, 
and " some gentlemen, so called." With these he had 
several altercations, in consequence of his reproving them 
for blasphemous language. On the Sunday their profanity 
seemed purposely augmented. He remonstrated, but only 
to find that a transient cessation was followed by still more 
objectionable conduct. The preacher, however, was not to 
be daunted. Acting on the maxim, "A'e cede malt's, sed 
contra audentior ito," he went among them again, and in- 
sisted on their putting a stop to such wickedness. They 
demanded by what authority he bore himself in this manner. 
He replied, " I am a servant of Jesus Christ, and the 
authority by which I denounce your wickedness I have from 
God." It ought to be mentioned, in justice to the officers, 
as well as to the credit of their reprover, that they acceded 
to his wishes 

In the month of May he resumed his labors in the islands. 
and in the following September had the great gratification 
of receiving a visit from Mr. Wesley, who was accompanied 
by I'r. Coke ami Mr. Bradford. In Jersey they lodged at 
Mr. Brackcnbuiy's, and in Guernsey at Mon Plaisir. Ini- crowds heard Mr. Wesley in both islands, and the 
memory of his visit has become a tradition anions tin- people. 

Obliged at length by an appointment at Bristol on a par- 
ticular day to leave Guernsey whatever wind was blowing, 
.Mr. Wesley availed himself of an English brig touching at 
the island on her way from France to lYnzance. Mr. 
Clarke had obtained liberty to return with the party for a 
few days visit to England. The wind blew fairly for their 
course to Penzance as they sailed out of Guernsey road, but 


soon slackened till it died away, and then, rising in the 
opposite quarter, freshened into a stiff contrary breeze ; 
and much time was spent in frequent tacking before they 
could well clear the island. I will now recount what fol- 
lowed in Mr. Clarke's own words: "Mr. Wesley was sitting 
reading in the cabin, and, hearing the noise and bustle occa- 
sioned by putting the vessel about to stand on her different 
tacks, he put his head above, and inquired what was the 
matter ? Being told the wind was become contrary, and the 
ship was obliged thus to tack, he said, ' Then let us go to 
prayer.' His own company who were upon deck walked 
down, and at his request Dr. Coke, Mr. Bradford, and Mr. 
Clarke went to prayer. After the latter had ended, Mr. 
Wesley broke out into fervent supplication, which seemed to 
be more the offspring of strong faith than of mere desire, 
in words remarkable as well as the spirit, feeling, and manner 
in which they were uttered. Some of them were to the fol- 
lowing effect : 'Almighty and everlasting God, thou hast thy 
way everywhere, and all things serve the purposes of thy 
will : thou holdest the winds in thy fists, and sittest upon 
the waterfloods, and reignest King for ever. Command 
these winds and these waves that they obey thee, and take 
us speedily and safely to the haven whither we would be.' 
The power of his petition was felt by all. He rose from his 
knees, made no kind of remark, but took up his book, and 
continued his reading. Mr. Clarke went upon deck, and 
what was his surprise when he found the vessel standing on 
her right course with a steady breeze, which slackened not, 
till, carrying them at the rate of nine or ten knots an hour, 
they anchored safely near St. Michael's Mount in Penzance 
Bay ! On the sudden and favorable change of the wind Mr. 
Wesley made no remark; so fully did he expect to be heard, 
that he took it for granted that he was heard. Such 
answers to prayer he was in the habit of receiving, and 


therefore to him the occurrence was not strange. Of such a 
circumstance how many of those who did not enter into his 
views would have deseanted at large, had it happened in 
favor of themselves ! yet all the notice he takes of this sin- 
gular circumstance is contained in the following entry in his 
Journal : ' In the morning, Thursday, (Septemher 6th, 
1787,) we went on board with a fair moderate wind. But we 
had but just entered the ship when the wind died away. 
We cried to God for help; and it presently sprung up 
exactly fair, and did not cease till it brought us into Pen- 
zance Bay.' " 

On landing, Mr. Clarke volunteered to become the avant- 
courier of the -party, and, riding on, preached at Redruth, 
St. Austel, and Plymouth'; in each place announcing for Mr. 
Wesley on the following evening, till at Bath Mr. Wesley 
proceeded to Bristol, and Mr. Clarke to Trowbridge. 

This latter place had long had an attraction for him, which 
had now become too strong to be surmounted. In fact, ever 
since his residence in that circuit, he had cherished a deep 
attachment to a lady who waj* the object of his first and ever- 
lasting love. She. was the eldest of several sisters who 
resided at Trowbridge with their mother^ the widow of Mr. 
John Cooke, formerly a substantial clothier of that town. 
These ladies had been frequently hearers of Mr. Wesley, Mr. 
Brackenbury, and others of the Methodist preachers; and 
the two younger sisters had been so moved by the word as to 
give themselves to the LorQ, and to his people according to 
his will. Mrs. Cooke also found much pleasure in extend- 
ing to Mr. Wesley, and some of the other ministers, the 
hospitalities of her house on their occasional visits. Miss 
Cooke who, with much feminine- delicacy, was distinguished, 
nevertheless, by much coolness of thought and firmness of 
character did not at first accede to these Methodistio tenden- 
cies; but, struck with the beautiful effects of the new faith 
5 * 


in the life of her sisters, she was induced to accompany them 
to the humble preaching-room, and was herself gradually 
brought under the converting power of the gospel. Made a 
partaker of this great benefit, she consecrated heart and life 
to her Saviour's cause, and became a helper of the faith of 
others, in inviting them to the house of prayer, and, as a 
leader of a class, in watching over the incipient piety of 
some who had obeyed the heavenly call they heard there. It 
was in those sweet days that Adam Clarke and Mary Cooke 
learned to. love each other with a pure friendship, which, 
hallowed by all the sanctities of religion, endured with their 
years, and proved itself at last more strong than death. 

At this period, however, there were obstacles to their 
union too formidable to be overcome. Mrs. Cooke, while she 
entertained a high esteem for Mr. Clarke as a young man of 
learning, piety, and promise in the Christian ministry, was 
yet too well aware of the rough experiences of a Methodist 
preacher's life not to feel an almost invincible reluctance to 
a marriage which would, to all human appearance, identify 
her beloved daughter's life with penury ( and. discomfort. Nor 
did Mr. Wesley himself, who had been led to entertain a 
personal affection for the young people, (who, on their part, 
looked up to him with a true filial reverence as their father 
in Christ,) regard the question of their union without serrous 
misgiving. At first, coinciding with the wishes of Mrs. 
Cooke, he gave the thing his entire disapproval, and threat- 
ened Mr. Clarke with his heaviest displeasure, " if he 
married Miss Cooke without her mother's consent." Subse- 
quently, his opinion was somewhat modified; and, in reply to 
a letter written by Adam Clarke in urging a favorable consi- 
deration of the marriage, he tells him, " While your health 
is so indifferent, you have no business to marry : therefore, 
my consent, at present, would do you no good. Wait 
patiently, at least till your health be restored; then strange 

LL.D. 131 

revolutions may happen, and things unexpected take place to 
make your way more easy." 

In October, after a most stormy passage, we find him 
again at work in the islands. In the Stations of the July 
Conference, Robert CarT Brackenbury and Adam Clarke 
stand for Jersey, and two other preachers for Guernsey — 
William Stephens for the English congregations, and John 
Pe Queteville for the French work. In consequence of this 
arrangement, Mr. Clarke "spent the greater portion of his 
time in Jersey, alternating with the other islands. Mr. 
Brackenbury continued his zealous labors, and supplemented 
them with pecuniary help toward the support of the rising 
cause ; an instance of which I find in a letter of Mr. Clarke, 
addressed to him the month of November in this year, in 
which he acknowledges the receipt of £80, seventy of which 
were for public purposes, and the remaining ten for himself. 
This eminent Christian gentleman and eloquent preacher of 
the word of God thus labored in all ways to promote the 
interests of a cause to which he had consecrated his exist- 
ence; and he has left for himself an imperishable name in 
the unnals of early Methodism. lie died in 181N, beloved 
and regretted by the thousands to whom in word and deed 
he had been as an angel of God. The sentiment of the 
Methodist Conneetion at large on the bereavement occasioned 
by his decease is well expressed in the Magazine of that 
year : "As this revered ami. lamented friend of religion and 
virtue, and eminent servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, had 
adorned and preached the gospel among us. with great appro- 
bation and success, for upwards of forty years, we exceed- 
ingly regret not being allowed to give a sketch of his 
exemplary life and great usefulness; which we are prevented 
from doing by his own particular request, 'that nothing 
should be said or written concerning him.' "\\'e much 
Question, however, whether such a request, dictated, doubt- 

132 LIFE' 07 THE 

less, by his extreme and, we think, mistaken modesty, ought 
to be so strictly observed as to deprive the Church and the 
world for ever hereafter of the edification, encouragement, 
and comfort which even an imperfect narrative of his life, 
and delineation of his character, would certainly have 
afforded them ; and much more such a biographical account 
of him as w.e know his bereaved and mourning partner 
would be well able to lay before the public." 

In the Rev. John De Queteville, Mr. Clarke had a zealous 
and effective colleague. He was a native of Jersey, and one 
of the first-fruits of the Methodist ministry in that island. 
A short time after he had begun to preach the gospel to the 
French-speaking population, he was ordained by Dr. Coke, 
whom he accompanied to Paris for the purpose of founding, 
if possible, an evangelical mission in that capital. The pro- 
ject at that time failed. The atheistic frenzy of the Revo- 
lution had not sufficiently subsided in the public mind to 
induce the Parisians so much as to listen to the word of God. 
Dr. Coke purchased one of the confiscated cnurches, and 
opened it for public preaching. They found none willing to 
hear, but many to revile the truth which they had rejected; 
and, in walking the streets, the preachers were threatened 
with the exaltation of the lamp-post. A rabble surrounded 
them, not once nor twice, with the old terror-time cry of A 
la Lanterne ! Dr. Coke saw that the enterprise was yet a 
hopeless one; and, by the kind offices of a friend, who 
negotiated for him with the public minister, he was released 
from his bargain for the Church, and returned to England. 
Mr. De Queteville resumed his labors in the islands, and 
spent a long and honorable life in building up the cause of 
God among them. A man naturally of impetuous temper, 
he became, by the sanctifying grace of God, a pattern of 
holiness and active benevolence. I knew him in the evening 
of his days, at his quiet little parsonage at St. Jacques', waitf. 


ing, with the venerable and amiable partner of his life, to be 
called into the presence of the Saviour, " all praise all meek- 
ness, and all love." 

The funeral rites at the grave of this aged saint were 
performed by the Rev. John Hawtrey. This distinguished 
servant of Christ was originally an officer in the army, and 
had served in the Peninsula under Lord Wellington. Con- 
verted to God, he became a Methodist minister, and labored 
many years in connection with- the Conference, honored and 
admired, wherever he was known, as a man of noble exterior, 
a Christian gentleman, and an eloquent and powerful exposi- 
tor of the gospel. He was subsequently induced to enter 
the ministry of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Hawtrey held 
the incumbency of St. James's Church, in Guernsey, for 
some years ; but removed, toward the. close of his life, to a 
parish near Windsor. At his decease, the officers of the gar- 
rison at Windsor testified their veneration for his memory, by 
solemnizing his funeral with military honors. Although 
separated from his former brethren in the mere matter of 
Church ceremonies, Mr. Hawtrey, as I knew from personal 
intercourse with him in Guernsey, never lust his love for the 
cause of Methodism. His affections were ever true to it, 
and his devout wishes attended its progress. As already 
stated, he buried good old Jean Do Queteville; and I shall 
never forget how, when standing by his side at the aged 
laborer's grave, beneath the»serene and cloudless heaven, ami 
surrounded by the grand panorama of island-landscapes and 
unruffled seas, with uplifted eves, and a face illuminated with 
faith and hope, ho gave us to hear again "a voice from hea- 
ven, saying, Write : Blessed are the dead who die in the 
Lord. Yea, saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labors, 
and their works do follow them." 

Reverting to Mr. Clarke*s days in the islands, we find that, 
as health returned, he resumed all his former pursuits, 



preaching " before day and after nightfall," and diligently 
improving the intervening hours by close study, or personal 
.intercourse with his flock. Among these were some who had 
long known the Lord, and whose steadfast piety made a 
sacred impression on his own mind. With these " deeply 
experienced Christians," as he describes them in a letter to 
Miss Cooke, he felt it a privilege to be permitted to have any 
communion. Compared with them, he speaks of himself as 
being " a very little child;" The most remarkable were two 
females, one elderly, the other young. " The former," says 
he, "seemed to possess all the solemnity and majesty of 
Christianity: she has gone, and is going, through acute 
bodily sufferings ; but these add to her apparent dignity : 
her eyes, every feature of her face, together with all her 
words, are uncommonly expressive of eternity. To her I 
put myself frequently to school during my short abode in the 
island, and could not avoid learning much, unless I had been 
invincibly ignorant or diabolically proud. The latter seems 
possessed of all that cheerful happiness and pure love which 
so abundantly characterize the gospel of Christ. Peace, 
meekness, and joy, judiciously immingled by the sagacious 
economy of the Holy Spirit, constitute a glorious something, 
affectingly evident in all her deportment, which I find myself 
quite at a loss to describe.* Two such I know not that I 
have before found : they are indeed the rare and excellent 
of the earth; the one 'not grave with sternness,' nor the 
other ' with lightness free.' " 

Among the converts whom the Lord gave him as the seals 
of his ministry was a soldier, whose case merits a record. 
Writing at the time he was confined by illness, Mr. Clarke 

* He refers here, I believe, to Mademoiselle Jeannie Bisson. A 
further notice of this remarkable young woman may be found in 
Mr. Wesley's Journal. 

REV ADAM CLARKE, LI, .1) 13 j 

says: "Yesterday a soldier belonging to the Train, whom 
the Lord gave, together" with his wife, some time ago to mv 
feeble labors, came to see me. I have seldom seen more 
affection, commixed with as much of childlike simplicity as 
you can conceive, evidenced before. He looked in my face 
pitifully, and saying, ' I heard you were sick,' sat down in a 
chair, and melted into tears. Yes ; and yet he is a soldier. 
It is amazing, this man was a very greafslave to drunkenness 
One morning last summer, having got drunk before five 
o'clock, (!) he some way or other strolled out to Les Terres, 
and heard me preach, and was deeply affected. ' What, and 
he drunk ?' Yes. After preaching he took me by the hand, 
and with the tears streaming down his cheeks, betwixt 
drunkenness- and distress, he was only capable of saying a 
very few words : 'O sir, I know you are a man possessed by 
the Spirit of God.' He went home, and, after three days' 
agonies, God in tender merpy set his soul at liberty. His 
wife also set out for the same heaven in good earnest, and 
shortly found peace. Both joined the society, and have 
walked ever since most steadfastly in faith and good 

The congregations at St. Peter's were not without their 
fluctuations. " It is strange to see how times change. Last 
winter I had in general a congregation made up of several of 
the most reputable persons in the island : to keep me among 
them, they offered to provide handsomely for me, which kind 
offer I again and again rejected. However, they continued 
to hear, believing I spoke the words of truth and soberness, 
and, as they phrased it, 'in the best manner they had ever 
heard.' 'Pity it was that I could not be permitted to preach 
in the church at least every Sunday.' However, this, like 
all things under the sun, must have an end. By-and-by, ono 
of these gentry stayed away, another attended less frequently. 
then he dropped off; such and such did not come, and there- 
fore I lost some more ; and so on, till hardly a soul of them 


came either on Sabbaths or other days. I was then as a 
person who had been in honor and continued not; and my 
ministry was at last confined to the poor, the best friends of 
my G-od. These cleaved closely to me, and praised God that 
the candlestick was yet in its place. With these I endea- 
vored to keep on my way, and the dropping in of one now 
and then to the society held up my hands. Persecutions 
arose, and evil reports were liberally spread abroad : this 
made it rather dangerous for any of my quondam friends to 
take any notice of me. Then I was obliged fully to walk 
alone ; but through the strength of God I was enabled to 
weather every trying circumstance. Finally, as things can- 
not be long at a stay under the sun, the time for a revolution 
must again take place ; and the honor that I sought not, had, 
and lost, would, as unsought- for, again return. One — 
another — and another have ventured back, heard, were 
pleased and profited once more, brought others along with 
them, till at last I have all back again, with an accession of 
several new ones; and now I am an" honorable man, and 
surely a great many good things would not be too good -for 
me now, would I accept them. Thus you see, my dear Mary, 
there is but as one day between a poor man and a rich. It 
is well, it is ineffably well, to have a happiness that is not 
affected by a change to which external things are incident. 
What a blessing to be able to sit calm on the wheel of fortune, 
and to prosper in the midst of adversity !" 

Nor did the mercy of God withhold from him this inwardly 
satisfying beatitude. "Blessed be the Lord, it has been a 
time of much good both to my body and mind. Since I 
wrote last, the Lord has. opened his heaven most benignly 
in my soul ; and, with that, has given me to discover him, 
as one uniform, uninterrupted, eternal Goodwill towards all 
his creatures. When I look into myself, I am astonished 
that he condescends to pay me the smallest visit ; but when 
I contemplate him in the above attribute, my astonishment 


ceases, though I cannot forget myself. . „ "Were I like Moham 
med's feigned angel, having 'seventy thousand heads, eacl 
actuated by as many tongues, and each uttering seventy 
thousand voices,' I should think their eternal utterances oi 
his praise an almost no tribute to a God so immeasurably 
good. And yet, where am I going ? I have but one tongue 
and that speaks very inexpressively The choicest blessing: 
of heaven are given to me ; and how seldom, comparatively 
is it used in showing forth his excellency, or acknowledging 
how deeply his debtor I am ' O my God, what reason havi 
I to be ashamed and confounded ! But thou wilt havi 
mercy '" 

The spring of the year 1788 became a memorably epocl 
in his life. The opposition to his marriage with Miss Cooki 
had so far given away at Trowbridge, partly by the kinc 
offices of Mr. Wesley, and partly by the strengthening influ 
ence of Mr. Clarke's character on the minds of the opponent! 
of that measure, that his way was considered to be now sum 
ciently plain to admit of the fulfilment of the vows the t\\( 
parties had so long held sacred. Accordingly, Mr. Clarke am 
Miss Cooke were married in Trowbridge Church, on tin 
seventeenth of April. Upon this event I cannot do bettei 
than give the Doctor's own reflection, written many yean 
after : " Few connections of this kind were ever mor< 
opposed; and few, if any, were ever more happy. Tin 
steadiness of the parties during this opposition endearec 
them to each other : they believed that God had joined then 
together, and no storm or difficulty in life was able to pu 
them asunder. Mrs. Cooke, many years before her death 
saw that this marriage was one of the most happy in hei 
family, in which there were sonic of. the most respectable 
connections ; one daughter having married that most excel 
lent man, Joseph Butterworth, Esq., M.P., a pattern of real 
Christianity, a true friend of the Church of God, and a pillai 

lo8 L I F E OF THE 

of the state; and another having married the Jlcv. Mr. 
Thomas, rector of Begelly, in South Wales, an amiable and 
truly pious man." 

Eleven days aftiT their wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Clarke 
embarked at Southampton for the islands- The steam-packet 
had not then appeared on our seas, and a voyage which can 
now be made in as many hours took them on this occasion 
not fewer than eight days to accomplish. The reception 
which awaited Mrs. Clarke in Guernsey was all that herself 
or her husband could desire. The worthy family at Mon 
Plaisir had sent over a trusty domestic to attend on Mrs. 
Clarke, and on their arrival welcomed them with true family 
hospitality. From Madame De Saumarez, (the mother of 
Sir James De Saumarez, who commanded the "Ocean" at 
Trafalgar,) Miss Lempriere, (whose brother wrote the once 
much-used "Classical Dictionary,") and other ladies of 
Guernsey, she also received most kind attentions. As to Mr. 
Clarke, his marriage not only conduced to his own personal 
comfort, but greatly increased his influence among the -peo- 
ple. Henceforward with an undivided mind he toiled for 
their edification. His labors were still distributed between 
Jersey and Guernsey, his head-quarters being in the former 
island. At Les Terres he had continued to preach in 
English twice on Sundays, on the Wednesday evening, and 
Friday morning. The place was so crowded as to render the 
erection of a large chapel, if possible, highly expedient; 
and already measures wer-e taken for such a purpose, with a 
decision and liberality which gave every promise of success. 

These operations were sustained, during the following 
year, by a new appointment from the Conference of 17S8 ; in 
the " Minutes" of which the stations for the islands are — 
Jersey, Messrs. Brackenbury and Clarke ; and Guernsey, 
Messrs. Bredin and De Queteville. Mr. Clarke appears to 
have worked alternately in the islands, a quarter in each. 


The winter of this year was unusually severe, and one night 
in the month* of January he had a narrow escape from perish- 
ing by the cold. In going to preach at St. Aubin, the snow 
lying in great depth inland, he was obliged to follow the 
sea-mark along the bay. Accompanied by a young man, the 
game who had stood by him at the time the house was beset, 
(as before recounted^) they arrived at the town wet through, 
and benumbed with the wind and sleet. Mr. Clarke preached 
though exhausted, and then set out with his companion to 
retrace their way, between four and five miles, to St. Helier's. 
Meanwhile a heavy snow had set in, and the night grew 
worse and worse. He set out, having taken no kind of re- 
freshment, and began" to plod his way with faint and unsteady 
steps. "At last a drowsiness, often the effect of intense 
cold when the principle of heat is almost entirely abstracted, 
fell upon him. 'Frank/ said he to the young man, 'I dan 
go no farther till I get a little sleep : let me lie down a few 
minutes on one of these snow-drifts, and then I shall get 
strength to go on.' Frank expostulated, '0 sir, you must 
not : were you to lie down but one minute, you would never 
rise more. Do not fear : hold by me ; I will drag you 
on, and we shall soon get to St. Helier's.' He answered, 
' Frank, I cannot proceed : I am only sleepy, and even two 
minutes will refresh me ;' and he attempted to throw himself 
upon a snow-drift, which appeared to him with higher charms 
than the finest bed of down. Francis was then obliged to 
interpose the authority of His strength — pulled him up, and 
continued dragging and encouraging him, till, with great 
labor and difficulty, he brought him to St. Helier's." There 
can be no doubt that, but for the providential company of 
Frank Bisson, he would have that night perished on the 
snow ; and he ever after entertained a lively sense of obli- 
gation to him, of which he had the opportunity of giving a 
practical evidence more than once. 


To the erection of the chapel in Guernsey many difficul- 
ties had risen, and all the more formidable from the deter- 
mined opposition of the bailiff, the chief magistrate of the 
island. Several letters on these matters passed between our 
missionary and Mr. Wesley, whose counsels, inculcative of 
gentleness in words and conduct, perseverance, and fervent 
prayer, were followed by Mr. Clarke and his friends with 
entire success. The disinclination of the bailiff suddenly 
gave way. Mr. Wesley himself was surprised at the genial 
change of mind in this gentleman ; and he says, " I really 
think the temper and behavior of the bailiff are little less 
than. miraculous." Jn fact, he sold them a piece of ground 
from his own property, promised to subscribe fifty pounds 
himself, before the building^ was begun added ten pounds 
more, and engaged a, pew for himself and family. Among 
the other subscribers we find the name of Mr. Walker for a 
hundred pounds, and that of Mr. De Jersey for a hundred. 
The latter tried friend lent them also three hundred, with — 
" Pay it as you can ; or, if I never receive a farthing of it, 
I shall be well contented." He was about to build a house 
for his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. De Queteville ; but de- 
clared that not a stone of it should be laid till the chapel was 
finished. We set this down because such an example of 
hearty devotion to the cause of Jesus merits a record. Ser- 
vant of God, well done ! 

Some difficulty was encountered about the legal settlement 
of the chapel according to what is called " the Conference 
plan ;" the jurisdiction of the English Court of Chancery, 
in which the Wesleyan chapels are enrolled, not extending 
to the Norman Isles. But even this obstacle was overcome, 
and Mr. Clarke had the satisfaction of being able to write : 
"We have a large chapel built here. It is astonishing to 
think how this handful of people have done it; but God was 
with us. What -is nearly as wonderful is, that notwith- 


standing the English laws are not admitted here, yet I have 
got it settled on the Conference plan by a public Act of the 
Royal Court. I am about, therefore, to leave this people on 
a good footing, prospering in the ways of God, and well estab- 
lished in spiritual and temporal matters." 

In Jersey, too, a similar movement took place for the 
erection of a chapel at St. Helier's ; and, along with these 
efforts to promote the material consolidation of the good 
cause, the preachers had the unspeakable joy of witnessing 
the manifestations of the Divine power in the upbuilding and 
beautifying of the spiritual temple of the Church. I will 
conclude these annals of Mr. Clarke's missionary life, by 
transcribing a manuscript letter, which gives some remark- 
able details on this subject. It is addressed to Mr. Wesley, 
and was probably the last he wrote to him from the islands. 
The date is "Jersey, July loth, 1789." 

" My reverend Father in Christ : 

'• In my last I gave you a short account of the prosperity 
of the work of God among us, and the prospect we had of 
an increase. Since that time the Lord has indeed wrought 
wonderfully. You perhaps remember the: account I gave 
you of the select prayer-meeting I had just then established 
for those only who had either attained, or were groaning 
after, full redemption. I thought that, as we were all with 
one accord in the same place, we had reason to expect a 
glorious descent of the purifying flame. It was even so. 
Soon five or six were able to testify that God hud cleansed 
their souls from all sin. This coming abroad, for it could 
not be long hid, (the change being so palpable in those who 
professed it,) several others were stirred up to seek the same 
blessing, and many were literally provoked to jealousy, 
among whom one of the principal was Mr. De Queteville. 
Ho questioned mo at large concerning our little meeting, 


and the good done. I satisfied him in every particular; and, 
being much affected, he said, ' 'T is a lamentable thing that 
those who began to seek God since I did should have left me 
so far behind. Through the grace of Christ, I will begin 
to seek the same blessing more earnestly, and never rest 
till I overtake and outstrip them, if possible.' For two or 
three days he wrestled with God almost incessantly. On 
the 30th of June he came into my room with great apparent 
depression of spirit, with the earnest inquiry, ' How shall I 
receive the blessing, and what are its evidences V I gave 
him all the directions I could, exhorted him to look for it in 
the present moment, and assured him of his nearness to the 
kingdom of God. He returned to his room, and after a few 
minutes, spent in wrestling faith, his soul was fully and 
gloriously delivered. He set off for the country, and like a 
flame of fire went over all the societies in the island, carrying 
the glorious news wherever he went. God accompanied him 
by the mightily demonstrative power of his Spirit, and num- 
bers were stirred up to seek, and several soon entered into, 
the promised rest. I now appointed a love-feast on the 5th 
inst. Such a heaven opened on earth my soul never felt 
before. Several were filled with pure love ; and some then 
and since have, together with a clean heart, found the 
removal of inveterate bodily disorders under which they had 
labored for a long time. This is an absolute fact, of which 
I have had every proof which rationality can demand. One 
thing was remarkable — there was no false fire; no, not a 
spark that I would not wish to have lighted up in my own 
soul to all eternity; and, though God wrought both in 
bodies and souls, yet every thing was under the regulation 
of his own Spirit, and fully proclaimed his operation alone. 
To speak within compass, there are not less than fifty or 
sixty souls who, in the space of less than a fortnight, have 
entered into the good land, and many of them established, 


strengthened, and settled in it; and still the blessed work 
goes daily on. 

" This speedy work has given a severe blow to the squalid 
doctrine of sanctification through suffering, which was before 
received by many, to the great prejudice of their souls. Sev- 
eral of your particular acquaintances, my dear sir, have had 
a large share in this blessing; and, among others, Mrs. Guil- 
liaume, Madame De Saumarez, and Miss Lempriere. The 
former is one of the greatest monuments of God's power to 
sanctify that I have seen. The latter are blessedly brought 
out of [their former] dreary state. Several, who had long 
been adepts m making Procrustes' bed, are now redeemed 
from every particle of sour godliness." 

The Divine blessing on the labors of Brackenbury, Clarke, 
and their colleagues in the islands, was seen in the numerical 
and moral strength which the cause had already attained. 
Mr. Clarke left two hundred and forty-eight members in 
Jersey, and one hundred and five in Guernsey. At the pre- 
sent time, chapels of the French and English Methodists are 
found in all parts of the islands. There are more than three 
thousand members in society ; who, beside sustaining thirteen 
ministers, English and French, in their own service, contri- 
bute some seven hundred pounds per annum to the cause of 
foreign missions. 




A new and noble field of labor was now opening to Mr. 
Clarke. Henceforward his ministry will be exercised in 
large and thickly-peopled cities, and thousands be enriched 
from those stores of saving truth which had been incessantly 
accumulating in his soul. The character of the times was 
assuming an unprecedented grandeur. Europe was begin- 
ning to heave with the throes of that political earthquake in 
which the feudalism of the past was doomed to give way 
before another development of society. The trumpets of 
Providence were sounding the advent of a new era in the 
world. Revolution and change had become the order of the 
day; and, in the desired abolition of many unquestionable 
corruptions, there was a danger that the sacred institutes of 
legitimate authority and rule, the safeguards of the true 
rights of mankind, might also be swept away by the swelling 
tides. The demon of infidelity had come forth into this 
storm, and was pervading the popular mind with imagina- 
tions of rapine and murder. Nor was England without her 
peril of being drawn into this vortex of ruin. Among the 
masses of the people there were too many who, without con- 
sideration, were disposed to feel and act with the atheists and 
democrats of bewildered France. In those days, then, the 
voice of the evangelist was more than ever needed ; and the 


gospel of order and peace, which from his lips went straight 
to the hearts of the people, contributed more to the security 
•of,the altar and the throne than the worldly wisdom of Par- 
liaments; or the whetted sword of the secular law. It was in 
the opening time of this national ordeal that Mr. Clarke 
began to appear as a prominent member of an order of men 
whose self-denying endeavors have not only saved multitudes 
of souls for all eternity, but contributed also, in a most 
honorable degree, to the temporal safety and well-being of 
their country. 

Our preacher quitted the Norman Isles in July, 1789, and 
proceeded to the Conference at Leeds, leaving Mrs. Clarke 
and their infant at Trowbridge on his way. The trustees of 
the Leeds Circuit had already petitioned Mr. Wesley that 
Mr. Clarke should be appointed there the ensuing year — a 
measure that was frustrated by a circumstance which seems 
sufficiently ludicrous. Mr. Clarke preached twice in Leeds 
on the Conference Sunday. In the morning prayer he 
casually omitted to pray for the king. Reminded of the 
failure, he endeavored to repair it in the evening, whin, 
among other supplications for his majesty, he devoutly 
implored that God would bless him with his pardoning 
and sanctifying grace. Some of the " chief women" of the 
congregation took' umbrage at this style of petition, as 
implying "that the king was a sinner '" So deeply was their 
sense of loyalty wounded, that a remonstrance against the 
appointment was signed by these ladies, and sent into the 
Conference, with the understanding that " the dangerously 
democratic principles" implied in such a prayer sufficiently 
unfitted the person who could utter it for ministering among 
the people of Leeds. Mr. Wesley, who wished to keep 
peace so far as possible, and who had a sincere respeot for the 
simple-hearted, steadfast piety of the petitioners, acceded to 
the request, and appointed Mr. Clarke to Halifax. The 


leading men of the society, however, were not so well satis- 
fied with this decision, and an overture was made to reverse 
it. But Mr. Clarke was unprepared to listen to anything of 
the kind, and hastily pronounced the resolve never to enter 
Z,ccdx in the way of an appointment as a travelling preacher i 
because he would not recognize any Church, nor minister in 
any, in which the supreme rule was not with, his Divine 
Master ! 

Just at that time he seems to have been incapable of pro- 
pitiating the good graces of the Methodist ladies of York- 
shire; for, at Halifax, when his appointment there was 
notified, a remonstrance from the female members was sent 
forthwith, objecting to him, as being "dull, though learned." 
So once more he was displaced. The same process followed 
as at Leeds. The men at Halifax wished him to come, and 
wrote a letter of explanation to that effect, which drew forth 
a reply from Mr. Clarke, reiterating the sentiment he had 
already pronounced : " The same principle must guide his 
movements on this as on the former occasion ; his call, he 
conceived, not extending to any place in which women were 
the governors, because he was certain that Christ had not 
truly the rule where the women held the reins !" These 
little annoyances were, however, controlled for the best; and 
at the close of the Conference he held a confirmed appoint- 
ment to the city of Bristol. 

This sphere of duty was one of the most important that 
could have been assigned him, next to London. The circuit 
held the preeminence in Methodism, and numbered, even at 
that time, the city and outlying places included, more than 
two thousand members. The necessities of the circuit 
would admit of but a very short vacation, and with the open- 
ing of the year Mr. Clarke was at his post. As in imagina- 
tion we see him enter the pulpit at Broadmead, on the first 
Sabbath morning, amid the silence, the prayer, and devout 


expectations of the crowded congregation, we insensibly call 
to mind the time when he first visited Bristol. The huntrry, 
ill-clad youth, who had eaten his frugal supper of bread and 
water in the kitchen of the inn just opposite, and whose 
apparition had so disturbed the powers who reigned at 
Kingswood, now reappears, a man in all the majesty of intel-> 
lect, a husband and father, alive to the most sacred affections 
of our nature, and a minister of Jesus Christ, with the full 
seal of spiritual power, in the evidences with which Heaven 
had attested his vocation, as well as the solemn concurrence 
and approbation of him who held the office of scriptural 
bishop in that communion of the Church. Every young 
man should see in this example a type and pledge of the suc- 
cess which awaits him in whatever condition of life Divine 
Providence may have cast his lot, if, with the subject of our 
memoir, he will live and act in the spirit of the prayer, " Let 
integrity and uprightness preserve me ; for I wait on Thee." 
But' the duties of the Bristol Circuit were so extensive 
and heavy as to tax Mr. Clarke's physical powers to the 
utmost. Unhappily, he entered on this new stage with 
enfeebled and shattered health. His life in the Norman 
Isles had been too sedentary for a constitution habituated to 
violent out-of-door exercise. To almost unremitted ntudy 
were added the wasting effects of a cough which had 
harassed him for years, ever since sleeping in a damp bed in 
the Trowbridge Circuit. This complaint had now become so 
heavy as to threaten his life. Mr. Wesley, who cann< to 
Bristol in an early part of the year, was struck with the 
change in his appearance, and intimated, in one of his 
addresses to the society, his apprehensions that they would 
not long Have the benefit of their minister's services. Some 
hope was entertained that the waters of the Hotwells. which 
at that time were in high medical repute, would tend to 
restore him ; but this benefit was seriously interfered with by 


the severity of his labors, and the disadvantage of living in 
the rooms appropriated to the preachers over the chapel, 
■which, pervaded with the effluvium from the crowded congre- 
gations, were altogether unwholesome as a place of residence. 
Notwithstanding these drawbacks, he nevertheless struggled 
on, though life with him was all that year little better than a 
protracted martyrdom. He had two colleagues, Messrs. 
Wadsworth and Hodgson; and to these three men- were 
allotted the working of a circuit comprising a large number 
of congregations, and the pastoral care of more than two 
thousand members. The quarterly visitation of the classes, 
carried on simultaneously with the pulpit and other duties 
of the circuit, drained their strength to the uttermost. In 
a note to his friend Brackenbury, in January, Mr. Clarke 
says : " For a month I have been employed in visiting the 
classes. This close work has proved more than I could well 
sustain. I need not- say, that preaching three or four times 
a day,* and giving tickets to two or three hundred people, 
regulating the concerns of the society, etc., is more than any 
common strength is able to perform. From what I nOw feel, 
and the increase of the work, I have every reason to believe 
that I shall either be in eternity before Conference, or be 
fully invalided. In visiting the classes, I have diligently 
endeavored to root out all apparent offences and offenders ; 
and, as the foundation is clearer than it has been for some 
time, I expect a more durable building. I see such fruit of 
my labor as causes me almost to rejoice in the martyred body 
which the most merciful God has in his condescension made 
an' honored instrument in helping forward so good a work." 

* He must mean Sundays, -when, with heavy pulpit-duty, the 
necessity of meeting several classes is most painfully oppressive. 
Superintendents should avoid it, if any other arrangements are 


So, in the June quarter : "I am now so exceedingly 
busied, that I have not tiny to take my necessary food. AVe 
are visiting the classes, in which I am employed from six 
o'clock in the morning to five in the evening:'' all this, fol- 
lowed by preaching either in the city or the country. Mr. 
Wesley, on a visit to Bristol, gave him all the help he could. 
Thus in his Journal at this time we read the entry: •' On 
Monday, and the three following days. I visited the classes 
at Bristol." Mr. Clarke mentions that he took one class, 
and Mr. Wesley another, alternately; thus proceeding during 
four successive days. As to his circuit-work, we take the 
following specimens of its fidelity and heartiness : " I >ei 
Out for Westbiiry, walked thither, and preached with great 
liberty to a large, attentive congregation. At five I preached 
at the Room ; and the -Lord gave me an hour's work of very- 
convincing speech. I felt in my soul that much good 
was done. I may not know to what extent; but this the 
Lord has favored me with, that a notorious sinner was tho- 
roughly convinced, and has since been earnestly wrestling 
with God, that he may escape eternal fire. Glory be to thee, 
God ! — I then met the society, and spoke all my mind : 
the lazy rich I did not spare On Monday morning, I had 
at five o'clock such a' congregation as I think 1 never saw 
in Bristol; several of the great folks, too, were hearing for 
life. These things are tokens for good. Our friends tell 
me there is a great stir all round Bristol. In such a' large 
place it cannot be so 'palpable as in a smaller; but, thank 
God, this is no matter. Glory, glory to <<<»d and to the 
Lamb !" The next Sunday: " I preached at Donkerton, to 
a very simple, pleasing people; and God was in the midst: 
at noon and night, in Bath, lie gave me liberty, and I have 
no doubt much good was done I had one soul for my hire 
at the last preaching : such a power from on high rested on 


all as I have seldom seen. God seemed to have given 'the 
people into my hand." 

" Yesterday rode from Bath to Bristol, and back again 
this morning. Met five classes, and preached once : have 
yet to meet six classes, and preach twice. To-morrow morn- 
ing return to Bristol, as we begin to meet classes at six in 
the morning, and continue with short intervals the whole of 
the day, to the end of the week. I feel willing, but am 
almost knocked up. 

" Went last Sunday to Kingswood, preached twice, gave 
an exhortation, and met nine classes. Thence to Guinea 
street, where preached, met society, and gave tickets to one 
class." Again : "At seven A. M. met the Bridge street 
society; preached at Guinea street, thence to Westbury, 
preached at two o'clock, and gave tickets ; then back to 
Bristol, fatigued and wet; preached at five, and met the 
society. Next morning at five preached again; and then 
rode to the Marsh, where, scarcely able to speak, I preached 
again, and gave tickets. From Marsh the next morning 
back to Pensford ; from thence to Clutton, through a severe 
tempest, wet to the skin. Thursday to Kingswood; preached 
at five, and returned home to assist Mr. Hodgson to hold a 
watch-night, but was scarcely able to move for more than an 
hour after I got home. At length I went to lend some aid, 
and brother Hodgson and I held on till about eleven o'clock, 
when we made an apology for retiring. Just as I 

was passing to my bedroom, I thought I would go to the 
lobby window, and take a last view of them, at which mo- 
ment one of the singers was giving out a hymn. I thought, 
' The meeting will close for lack of persons to pray. I will 
go down.' Mr. H. at that moment joined me, and advised 
me not. I hesitated a moment ; but, finding my soul drawn 
out in pity to the multitudes, I said, ' I will go down in the 


name of the Lord.' Mr. H. would not be left behind. I 
had before felt much of the power of God, but now it waa 
doubled. We continued singing, praying, and exhorting 
until half-past twelve; during which time strong prayers, 
cries, and tears bore testimony to the present power of God. 
How excellent the Lord ia in working ! How wondrous are 
his ways of mercy ! ' I am thine, save me?. I am willing to 
breathe my last in thy work." 

In his personal intercourse with the Methodist people of 
Bristol, Mr. Clarke now formed friendships which were 
life-long ; and those friendships were cherished for the poor 
of Christ's flock, as well as the rich. Among the former 
class was an eminent Christian named Sumnierhill; and 
we mention her case on account of its extraordinary cha- 
racter. . Dame Summerhill was at that time a hundred and 
four years old. Relating her experience one day to Mr. 
Clarke, she said that Mr. Wesley was her father in the 
gospel. " When he first came to Bristol, I went to hear 
him preach ; and, having heard him, I said, ' This is the 
truth.' I inquired of those around, who and what he was. 
I was told that he was a man who went about everywhere 
preaching the gospel. I further inquired, ' Is he to preach 
here again V The reply was, ' Not at present.' ' Where is 
he going to next ?' I asked. ' To Plymouth,' was the an- 
swer. 'And will he. preach there?' 'Yes.' 'Then I will 
go and hear him. What is the distance V ' One hundred 
and twenty-five miles.' I went, walked it, heard him, and 
walked back again I" 

When a hundred and six years old, she was accustomed to 
read the Church-prayers daily, " as a substitute for the public 
means of grace," which she was no longer able to attend ; 
reading the small print both of Bible and Prayer-book with- 
out spectacles. 

In Bristol Mr. Clarke sat for his portrait, at the request 


of several of his friends. The painter was Mr. Holloway, 
who distinguished himself some • years after by his en- 
gravings of the cartoons of Raffaelle.- From several pre- 
ceding failures, Mr. Clarke had come to "the conclusion that 
his face was not an auspicious one for the pencil ;* and he 
complied only on two conditions : " First, that you do not 
make me appear netter than I am ; for that will reflect on 
my Maker, as though he had not made me good enough; 
and, secondly, that you do not make me appear worse 
than I am; for that will be to burlesque me." The request 
of the artist was supported by Mr. Wesley, who wanted to 
have an engraving of it for the magazine. The likeness 
is correct enough, though the engraving is but indifferent. 
Underneath, after the manner of the old portraits in the 
magazine; is the inscription, "Mr. Adam Clarke, JEtatis 
27 " Mr. Clarke's father, whom he now had the pleasure 
of once more seeing in Bristol, objected to the age, as being 
two years too young. But upon this point, as we have 
already noticed, neither father, mother, nor son was ever quite 
free from uncertainty. 

Though the incessant demand on his time by public and 
pastoral engagements left him but few hours for books, the 
unslaked and ever-growing thirst of his soul for knowledge 
made Mr. Clarke still a diligent student to the extent of his 
opportunities. He read hard, and thought deeply; and 
the advantages he found in access to large collections of 
books in the city were diligently improved. His scanty 
means, also, were taxed to the utmost in acquisitions to 
his own library, which even now began to be considerable, 
both as to the number and the value of the works of which it 
was composed. 

This year in Bristol, which was passed in one continued 
series of exertions, was crowned by the assembly of the Con- 
ference there ; a circumstance which always gives additional 


anxiety to the preachers stationed on the spot, from the task 
it devolves on them of furnishing so lar^e a number of 
strangers with domestic accommodation. This Conference 
(of 1790) was distinguished as being "the last over which 
Mr. Wesley presided in person. It was the forty-seventh 
of its annual assemblies, in which this truly apostolic bishop 
had gathered around him his sons and fellow-laborers in 
the gospel, for counsel and prayer. But his long and lumi- 
nous career was now about to end. It was the sunset of his 
day, and the evening was without a cloud. The preachers 
had a presentiment that they were to see his face no more. 
His latest counsels sank , into their hearts, and the last 
accents of his voice became a propheoy to them of benedic- 
tion and peace.* 

On reviewing the state of the Connection, it was found 
that in Great Britain and America the numbers in society 
amounted to one hundred and twenty thousand : thus gra- 
ciously had the word preached been attested and blessed by 
the converting Spirit of God. At the present time, the 
numerical strength of the Methodist body, under the care of 
the British and affiliated Conferences, exceeds four hundred 
and twenty thousand members; under the care of the Me- 
thodist Episcopal Churches of the United States, more than 
double that sum : not to speak of the various offsets from the 
parent stock — the New Connection, the Primitive Method- 
ists, etc., etc. ; or of the immense multitudes who habitually 
hear the gospel in the congregations, or of the myriads of 
children who are educated in the schools. Meanwhile, 

* "At this Conference I parted with Mr. Wesley, to see him no more 
till the resurrection of the just. lie appeared very feeble. His 
sight had failed so much, that he could not seo to give out the 
hymns. And yet his voice was strong, his spirit remarkably lively ; 
and the powers of his mind, and his love toward his fellow-creatures, 
were as bright as ever." — Mr. Atmore's Journal. 


in the years gone by, hundreds of thousands who have 
passed into eternity found in the sanctuaries of Methodism 
the gate of heaven. It may be seen that Adam Clarke had 
devoted the energies of his wasting life to a work worthy of 
the sacrifice. 

One of the last subjects of anxiety with Mr. Wesley at 
this Conference was, so to arrange the work of the preachers 
that, if possible, no man should preach more than twice on 
the Sunday. The case of Mr. Clarke, and a multitude of 
others like it, convinced him that these men were exceeding 
the limits of their natural strength, and running a career of 
self-destruction. At the sight of so many useful servants of 
God thus shortening their lives, it was his earnest desire to 
adopt some plan which, by diminishing the Sunday labor, 
would give a greater effect to their services, as well as pro- 
long their duration. Accordingly, (to use Mr. Clarke's 
memorandum,) "in a private meeting with some of the prin- 
cipal and senior preachers, which was held in Mr. Wesley's 
study, to prepare matters for the Conference, he proposed 
that a rule should be made that no preacher should preach 
thrice on the same day. Messrs. Mather, Pawson, Thompson, 
and others, said this would be impracticable, as it was abso- 
lutely necessary in most cases. Mr. W replied, 'It must 
be given up : we shall lose our preachers by such excessive 
labor.' They answered, 'We have all done so; and you 
even, at an advanced age, have continued to do so.' ' What 
I have done/ said he, ' is out of the question : my life and 
strength have been under an especial providence. Besides, 
I know better than they how to preach without injuring my- 
self; and no man can preach thrice a day without killing 
himself sooner or later, and the custom shall not be continued.' 
They pressed the point no farther, finding that he was deter- 
mined; but, after all, the Minute went to the press, 'No 
preacher shall any more preach three times in the same day 


(to the same congregation).' By this clause the Minute was 
entirely neutralized. He who preaches the gospel as he 
ought, must do it with his whole strength of body and soul ; 
and he who undertakes a labor of this kind thrice every 
Lord's day, will infallibly* shorten his life by it. He who, 
instead of preaching, talks to the people, merely speaks about 
good things, or tells a religious story, will never injure him- 
self by such an employment. Such a person does not labor 
in the word and doctrine : he tells his tale, and, as he 
preaches, his congregation believes, and sinners are left as he 
found them." 

At the Bristol Conference Mr. Clarke was appointed to 
Dublin, and he reached that capital in the following month. 
This was a trust which reflected great honor on him, and 
showed the strong confidence entertained by Mr. Wesley and 
the preachers in his talents, prudence, and fidelity ; for the 
English preacher who held that station was looked up to as 
"the general assistant;" that is, Mr. Wesley's representative 
or commissary over all the Irish circuits. , The critical state 
of the society, moreover, required a man of ability and 
sagacity. There were two parties among them : one for an 
entire subjection to the Established Church ; another, with 
tendencies more free. "Dr. Coke, with the approbation of 
Mr. Wesley, had introduced the use of the Liturgy into the 
chapel at Whitefriar street. This measure was opposed by 
some of the leading members, as tending to what they called 
a separation from the'Church; when, in truth, it was the 
most effectual way to keep the society attached to its spirit 
and doctrines ) who, because they were without Divine service 
in church-hours, were scattered throughout the city, some at 
church, and many more at different places of Dissenting 
worship, where they heard doctrines that tended greatly to 
unsettle their religious opinions ; and in the end many were 
lost to the societv. In conseouence of the introduction of 

156 LIFE Or THE 

the Liturgy, a very good congregation assembled at White- 
friar street; and much good might have been done, if the 
rich members had not continued hostile to the measure,' by 
withdrawing their countenance and support, which many of 
them did. . At last both sides agreed to desire the British 
Conference, for the sake of peace, to restore matters to their 
original state, and abolish the morning service. Mr. Clarke, 
who at that time labored under the same kind of prejudice, 
gave his voice against the continuance of the prayers ; and 
at his recommendation the Conference annulled the service. 
This," he affirms, "was the greatest ecclesiastical error he 
ever committed ; and one which he deeply deplored for many 
years; and he was thankful when, in the course of Divine 
Providence, he was enabled afterward to restore that service 
in the newly-erected chapel in Abbey street, which he had 
formerly been the instrument of putting down in Whitefriar 
street ; that very same party, to please whom it was done, 
having separated from the Methodists' body, and set up a 
spurious and factious Connection of their own, under the 
name of Primitive Methodism ; a principal object of which 
was to deprive the original Connection, of its chapels, divide 
its societies, in every way to injure its finances, and traduce 
both its spiritual and loyal character. 

"It may be asked, 'Why did' Mr. Clarke in 1790 espouse 
the side of this party V It is but justice to say, that to that 
class of men he was under no kind of obligation : they had 
neglected him, though he was on their side of the question, 
as much as they did those who were opposed to them. He 
and his family had nothing but affliction and distress while 
tiny remained in Dublin, and that party neither ministered 
to his necessities nor sympathized with him in his afflictions. 
What he did was from an ill-grounded fear that the intro- 
duction of the Church service might lead to a separation from 
the Church, (which the prejudice of education could alone 


have suggested,) and he thought the different societies might 
be induced to attend at their parish-churches, and so all 
kinds of dissent be prevented. But multitudes of those, by 
whatever name they had been called, had never belonged to 
any Church, and felt no religious attachment to any but those 
who had been the means of their salvation. When, therefore, 
-they did not find among the Methodists religious service on 
the proper times of the Lord's day, they often wandered 
heedlessly about, and became unhinged and distracted with 
the strange doctrines they heard. Of this Mr. Clarke was 
aferwards fully convinced, and saw the folly of endeavoring 
to force the people to attend a ministry from which' they had 
never received any spiritual advantage, and the danger of 
not endeavoring to cultivate the soil which had been with' 
great pain and difficulty enclosed, broken up, and gown with 
the good seed, the word of the kingdom." 

Notwithstanding these differences, the work of God had 
not been without some measure of prosperity among the 
Methodists of Dublin. Mr. Clarke found tli;it, some weeks 
before his coming, a remarkable revival had taken place, the 
effects of which wore still felt, though retarded by the inju- 
dicious conduct of some who, though mistaken, intended 
well. I refer to this, and give some portions from a manu- 
script letter of Mr. Clarke to Mr. Wesley, for the purpose of 
recording the opinion of the latter on a matter of abiding 
importance — the desirableness of prolonging the good influ- 
ence ofta revival by avoiding the exhaustive consequences of 
meetings protracted to an unusual length. This letter is 
dated from Dublin in September. Alter mentioning his 
arrival, and how he had found his colleague Mr. Rutherford, 
but slowly recovering from a dangerous illness, which had 
left the people somewhat in confusion through their deprival 
of the stated services, he thus goes on: "The work which 
was so remarkable about the time of Conference was hardly 


discernible when I came, owing, as I am informed, to the 
extravagance and irregularity in the conduct of those who 
took the management during Mr. Rutherford's indisposition. 
The times of the prayer-meetings were and are continued, 
but to an unwarrantable length; hardly ever breaking up 
before ten or eleven o'clock, and frequently continued till 
twelve or one. And in those meetings some have taken on 
themselves to give exhortations of half an hour or forty-five 
minutes in length. This has a tendency to wear out the 
people. I have advised them to shorten their prayer-meet- 
ings at Whitefriars on Sabbath evenings after preaching, as 
I find the families of many are shockingly neglected ; for 
how can there be family religion, especially on the Lord's 
dayj which you know is filled up with ordinances, if prayer- 
meetings are continued till ten or eleven at night ?" 

He proceeds to observe that he finds it very difficult to 
interfere, as the more zealous persons in the movement have 
already accused him of opposing the good work. "We can 
hardly expect a revival without irregularities and stumbling- 
blocks ; but my heart joins fully with one of *the last prayers 
I heard my reverend father offer in Bristol : ' Lord, if possi- 
ble, give us this work without the stumbling-blocks ; but, if 
this cannot be, give us stumbling-blocks and all, rather than 
not have thy work.' To this my whole soul says, Amen." 

Mr. Wesley replies in a letter which has been printed- in 
his Works:* "You will have need of all the courage and 
prudence which God has given you. Very geiitly and 

very steadily you should proceed between the rocks on either 
hand. • In the great revival in London, my first difficulty was. 
to bring into temper those who opposed the work ; and my 
next, to check and regulate the extravagances of those who 
promoted it. And this was far the harder, for many of them 

* Vol. xiii., 12mo., p. 98. 


would bear no check at all. But I followed one rule, though 
with all calmness : ' You must either bend or break.' Mean- 
time, while you act exactly right, expect to be blamed by 
both sides. I will give you a few directions : 1. See that uo 
prayer-meetings continue later than nine at night, particu- 
larly on Sunday. Let the house be emptied before the clock 
strikes nine. 2. Let .there be no exhortation at any prayer- 
meeting. 3. Beware of jealousy, or judging one another. 
4. Never think a man is an enemy to the work because he 
reproves irregularities. Peace be with you and yours '" 

These precepts merit consideration at all times; and so do 
some observations which Mr. Clarke once made on the topic 
to which they relate. One day, (as he observed,) having 
inquired of a pious couple who had discontinued their 
attendance at the meeting for prayer, " How it was they had 
ceased to come, as usual ?" he was told', " We cannot without 
standing during prayer, which we think is unbecoming ; and 
the prayers are so long that we cannot kneel all the time : 
sometimes, too, a verse is given out while the people are on 
thfeir knees, and two or three pray; we cannot kneel so long, 
and therefore we are obliged to keep away," He could not 
but assent to the gravity of the objection. In fact, he had 
himself suffered much inconvenience from the same cause 
<'On one occasion," said he, "a good brother at a meeting 
went to prayer. I kneeled on the floor, having nothing to 
support me. He -prayed forty minutes. I was unwilling to 
rise, and several times Was near fainting. What I suffered I 
cannot describe. After the meeting I ventured to expostu- 
late with him, when, in addition to the injury sustained by 
the unmerciful prayer, I had the following reproof: ' My 
brother, if your mind had been more spiritual, you would 
not have felt the prayer too long.' I mention these circum- 
stances," added Dr. Clarke, " not to excuse the careless mul- 
titude, but in vindication of such sufferers ; and to show the 


necessity of being short in our prayers, if we expect others 
to join us." 

In some rules for the conducting of prayer-meetings, 
drawn up by a man of great experience, the late Rev. David 
Stoner,* we find it prescribed, " Let no indiyidual pjay long : 
in general, the utmost limit ought to be about two minutes. 
It will be found much better for one person to pray twice or 
thrice in the course of the meeting, than to pray once a long 
time. Long praying is commonly^ both a symptom and a 
cause of spiritual deadness." The .unusual breyity here 
recommended will appear to many of us -as the opposite 
extreme to the dreary length of exercise deployed by Mr.' 
Clarke. But of the two, Mr. Stoner's is, undoubtedly, the 
preferable. Wesley himself had a strong repugnance te long 
prayers. He insists somewhere that the preachers in the 
pulpit should, not exceed ten minutes in that part of the 

The winter was ushered in with heavy domestic affliction, 
which seriously interfered with the ministerial efficiency of 
the year spent in Dublin. The trustees had been building a 
new house for the minister, which was to serve at once, for a 
school and a parsonage. The minister's family were to 
reside in the apartments on the ground-floor, the school- 
room stretching over all, above. Mr. Clarke was obliged to 
take possession of these premises before they were, dry. This 
was done at the expense of his own health, and that of his 
family. In a fortnight the afflicted parents wept over the 
grave of their child ; and some time after Mr. Clarke him- 
self, whose cough had not abated its severity, and whose 
general health was already so delicate, was attacked with 
serious illness, and laid utterly prostrate. On the 20th of 
January he writes these few lines to his sister-in-law : " I 

* See his beautiful biography, by Dr. Hannah and Mr. Dawson. 


nav0 requested the writing-materials to be brought to inv 
bedside, and them, in order to prove to you tliat. 
because the Lord liveth, I still exist. But a short time auo 
there was no probability that you would ever receive a line 
from my hand. My beyond all comparison excellent Mary 
continued my close attendant in the time of unutterable dis- 
tress. It added to my affliction to see the part she took in it 
night and day. This is my nineteenth day, and I begin, 
though slowly, to gather a little strength ; but have had 
hardly any sleep sinoe I was first seized. .- . . You will, perhaps, 
wish to know in what stead my profession stood me in the 
time of sore trouble. I cannot enumerate particulars : suf- 
fice it to say, God did not leave my soul one moment. I was 
kept, through the whole, in such a state of perfect resigna- 
tion, that not a single desire that the Lord would either 
remove or lessen the pain took place in my mind from the 
beginning until now. I could speak of nothing but mcrcv 
Jesus was my all and in all. The Lord God omnipotent 
reigneth. Blessed, blessed for ever be the name of the 
Lord '." 

Mrs. Clarke's assiduity was maintained under the pressure 
of personal infirmity, before which she herself hud at length 
to succumb ; and for three weeks husband and wife were 
confined each to a sick-room. Toward the elose of these 
trying days he had a letter of consolation from Mr. Wesley, 
a few lines of which L extract, as it was the last Mr. Clarke 
received from his venerable friend, then on the verge of 
eternity : " You have great reason, dear Adam, to bless God 
for giving you strength according to your day. He has 
indeed supported you in a wonderful manner under theso 
complicated afflictions; and you may well say, • I will put my 
trust in thee as long as I live,' I will desire Dr. Whitehead 
to consider your case, and give you his thoughts upon it. 1 


am not afraid of your doing too little, but too much. Do a 
little at a time, that you may do the more." 

With some degree of convalescence, our preacher now 
applied himself to his work ; and followed up the energetic 
ministration of the word with works of beneficence and 
piety in restraining evil and doing good, which could not but 
commend him to all who, with the poet, could 

"venerate the man whose heart is warm, •; 

Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life, 

Coincident, exhibit lucid proof 

That he is honest in the sacred cause." 

"With a heart naturally tender, and refined by the compassions 
of the gospel, he strove, according to his ability, to soothe 
the troubles of the afflicted, to heal the sick, and lead the 
blind. To do this more effectually, he sought to secure the 
united and organized efforts of such as he could find like- 
minded with himself, and succeeded in founding an important 
institution, which, not in Dublin only, but in all our great 
towns, has been the means of doing a wonderful amount of 
good to the bodies and souls of the perishing; namely, "The 
Strangers' Friend Society." The year before, at Bristol, 
with the concurrence of Mr. Wesley, he had made an essay 
of the same kind, which was supported on a small scale by a 
penny-a-week subscriptions. In Dublin, he attempted some- 
thing in a greater way; and in the different towns in whicli 
he was afterward stationed, he followed the same design. In 
promoting these benevolent movements, he was not only 
found in the chair of the committee-room, but as a visitor 
of the society he went about among the miserable multitudes 
of the Irish metropolis, contributing, according to the means 
thus providentially intrusted to him, as well to the waats of 
the body as to those of the soul. 

The people among whom he moved took knowledge of him 


as a man of God. His own flock revered him as one who 
was pointing them to a better life, and, by example as well as 
precept, leading the way. Though in the world, and living 
actively for its service and benefit, he was not of it. His 
very appearance indicated that he lived in a mental region of 
his own. Wasted in form, wan with illness and labor, rapt 
in intellectual abstraction, he looked as if he did not belong 
to the every-day world of flesh and blood. As he passed 
along the crowded streets, he appeared to see no one, but 
pursued his way as if measuring the ground, or counting the 
strides necessary to be taken from chapel to chapel. 

As a University city, Dublin possessed a peculiar charm 
for Mr. Clarke; and, with his eager tendencies after know- 
ledge, we wonder not that he seized the earliest opportunity 
to enter himself x)f Trinity College. The multifarious 
engagements of his life, however, and the inroads which ill- 
ness made on his time, did not allow him to avail himself of 
the general curriculum of study followed there. He there- 
fore restricted himself to attendance on the medical and 
anatomical courses, and to a diligent appropriation of mate- 
rial for his own future literary undertakings which he found 
in the college library. He now, too, became acquainted with 
several learned and accomplished persons, with whom he con- 
tinued to have improving intercourse in after-life. Among 
them were the llev. Dr. Barrett, the librarian of Trinity; 
Mrs Tighe, the authoress of " Psyche," a poem long ad- 
mired for its pure sentiment and delicate felicity of style; 
and an alchemist named Hands, to whose friendship with .Mr. 
Clarke we may revert on a future page. We should also 
mention one of Mr. Clarke's Oriental friends, with whom he 
became acquainted in Dublin — Ibrahim ibn Ali, who had for- 
merly held a captain's commission in the army of the Sultan. 
Brought up in the religion of his father, a Mohammedan, 
his mind had nevertheless been influenced by the secret 


instructions of his mother, who was a Greek and a Christian. 
Imprisoned on suspicion of a murder, which was afterward 
fully cleared up by the surrender of the real assassins, he 
had been in imminent danger of losing his life, and in the 
time of peril had been deeply moved by the exhortations of 
an old Spaniard to renounce all faith in the false prophet, 
and confide in the true Saviour of mankind. In this state 
of mind, he left his native country, and came to England. 
From Liverpool he proceeded to Dublin, where, inquiring 
for a person who knew Spanish or Arabic, he was directed to 
Mr. Clarke, who treated him with all the kindness in his 
power. Ibrahim became a sincere inquirer after the truth, 
and found in Mr. Clarke a guide who led him to Jesus. 
After due and cautious probation, he was at length admitted 
to baptism ; Mr. Rutherford performing -the sacred rite, and 
Mr. Clarke translating into Spanish the words in which it was 
administered. The subsequent career of the convert justi- 
fied the hopes of his friends. -He accompanied Mr. Clarke 
to England, and thence went to America in a mercantile 
capacity, where he married a lady of the Baptist communion, 
and died at last steadfast in the faith. 

The year in Dublin drew to a close; and Mr. Clarke felt 
it his duty to terminate, for the present, his connection with 
the circuit. His feeble health unfitted him to cope with 
some of the peculiar difficulties of a station so responsible ; 
and the party -spirit which reigned so strongly at that time 
in Dublin compelled him to decide on returning to England. 
The Conference was to be held in Manchester, and the 
Dublin preachers prepared to go. Mrs. Clarke, also, and 
the little ones, were to accompany them, thus making but 
one voyage for the family. But this arrangement was not 
carried out. From some letters' of this excellent lady, which 
have been confided to me, I take the liberty to extract a few 
sentence!? : 


" When I wrote last, I thought it would have been my 
last letter from Dublin ; but I wrote doubtfully, because I 
well know the uncertainty of all things here below. And 
so it has been in reference to my going to England. We 
had our chests packed, and all ready for embarkation, when 
John was seized with the measles. I could not think of 
taking the child to sea in that condition, and gave up the 
thought of accompanying Mr. Clarke, who could not be de- 
tained. The people were glad, as they thought it would 
secure Mr. Clarke's return fur me. The time was set for 
the preachers to sail, but no packet came into port. Day hj 
day they waited; still no vessel came Meanwhile, John 
grew better apace; and, no vessel arriving till Saturday, 
fearing to be too late for the Conference, they set sail. 31 r. 
Clarke and Mr. Rutherford wished to stay behind till Mon- 
day, when John might with safety have gone too : but they 
feared a second detention, and overruled that all the preach- 
ers should go together. Accordingly they sailed, and, after 
encountering some sore weather at sea, arrived safe in Liver- 
pool after a forty-eight hours' passage Thus much conccrn- 
insr our going to England. Where we shall be the coming 
vear. I know no more than an utter stranger. I should fear 
to choose Wherever we are, I trust it will be for God's 
glory, and the good of many souls." 




The Conference assembled at Manchester. It was the 
forty-eighth, and for the first time they met -without the 
presence of him who had been their earthly head. The 
apostle of England had finished his glorious course on the 
second of March, revered by an innumerable multitude of 
good men. Serious fears had been entertained by many 
true friends of the Methodist cause, that this event would 
prove fatal to its unity, and even endanger its existence. 
Si ion, however, these apprehensions were shown to be 
groundless. Methodism, a visible work of God, abides and 
prospers, when individual men, however honored in having 
been employed by him as the agents of his great purposes of 
mercy, are called from the labors of this life to their eternal 
repose. The preachers were brought more than ever to feel 
their dependence on the adorable Head of the Church, who 
liveth evermore. Such being their frame of mind, they 
were now cheered in their sorrow by tokens of His presence 
who has said, " Fear not, for I am with you." In a brief 
memorial prefixed to the Minutes of this Conference, while 
they confess to the societies their inability to represent 
adequately their feelings on account of their "great loss," 
they express their solemn purpose and hope that they "shall 
uive the most substantial proofs of their veneration for the 


memory of their most esteemed father and friend, by en- 
deavoring with great humility and diffidence to follow and 
imitate him in doctrine, discipline, and life." 

The cause for which Wesley lived and labored thus sur- 
vived him. His wise provision had secured for the ministers 
as a body, by the Deed of Declaration, a legal status in the 
country ; and had consolidated and insured the ecclesiastical 
property of the Connection for the sole purposes for which it 
had been created — the existence and sustentation of simple, 
pure, and evangelic agencies for the salvation of the people. 
Among the preaehers, too, there were many who had grown 
old with him in the work; and to them their brethren looked 
up with ingenuous and open-hearted confidence. From 
among these one was now selected as the presidential head 
of the Connection for the current year; and this honor 
fell upon the Rev. William Thompson, a man venerable for 
piety, wisdom, and ability. The office of secretary was 
conferred on the Rev. Dr. Coke. All the acts of the Confer- 
ence were distinguished by a single-minded purpose to do 
all to the supreme glory of God. " I have been," said Mr. 
Clarke, "at several Conferences; but have never seen one 
in which the .spirit ot unity, love, and a sound mind, so 
generally prevailed. I would have this intelligence trans- 
mitted from Dan to Beersheba, and let the earth know that 
the dying words of our revered father have their accomplish- 
ment — ' The Lord is with us,' " 

Mr. Clarke's new station was Manchester. The favor had 
been offered him of making his own choice of a circuit; 
but this he declined — anxious, as he said, that God should 
station him. Having his lot providentially fixed at Man- 
chester, he was enabled in the two following years to avail 
himself repeatedly of the benefit of the waters at Buxton, 
which contributed in a good degree to the reinstatement 
of his health. Of the great utility of those waters, espe- 


cially in rheumatic affections, he ever after expressed a high 

Mrs. Clarke and her little ones arrived in Liverpool after 
a long passage, through a stormy sea, which had caused no 
small anxiety to her husband, who was waiting daily for 
them "in great misery," to use his own words, "in conse- 
quence of the prolonged voyage of my wife and children, 
who, I had reason to fear, were swallowed up in the great 
deep. Twice every day for a week I went down to the do'ck 
to look out for the Dublin packet, which contrary winds had 
detained at sea. At length, while standing on the quay one 
evening, the vessel, to my inexpressible joy, hove in sight: 
I beheld my Mary and the children upon deck, and hailed 
them as from the dead. I got on board as soon as possible, 
and found the little ones almost starved 5 for, owing to the 
tediousness of the voyage, being several days on the water, 
all provision had been for some time expended. I instantly 
took Adam (I had an Adam then) on one arm, and John 
on the other; and, running with them into a baker's shop, 
gave to each a twopenny loaf, and in an instant their little 
faces were almost buried in them. I then hastened with 
something to my wife ; and we walked to a home, no longer 
desolate to me, blessing the God of all mercy for the protec- 
tion he had extended while in the midst of peril and distress." 

At the custom-house he had much annoyance from the 
reckless exorbitance of the officials, who turned his boxes of 
books inside out, charged him threepence per pound for the 
classical works, and five pounds for a philosophical instru- 
ment! At length, however, the reunited family found 
themselves settled in their new abode ; and Mr. Clarke, with 
such strength as he had, addressed himself to the duties of 
the opening year. 

Hitherto he had travelled with men who, though pious 
and faithful preachers of the gospel, do not appear to have 


been distinguished by extraordinary ability. It was now Mr. 
Clarke's lot to be associated with two colleagues whose names 
have a well-deserved renown in the Methodist world, for the 
splendor of their talents, and the importance of their services 
to the cause to which they were consecrated. Mr. Bradburn 
was. confessedly, one of the most accomplished orators of the 
day, a man of expansive* mind and generous impulses of 
heart, though not free from the eccentricities which often 
reveal themselves in persons of genius. On the other hand, 
in Mr. Benson, the Church possessed a minister remarkable 
not only for great fervency of spirit, but also for an almost 
imperturbable correctness of judgment, and an affluence of 
theological learning which placed him in the highest order of 
divines. Very few men have been better read in the Greek 
Testament, and few commentators have given so clear an ex- 
position of it. But it was in the pulpit that he brought 
those gifts, and graces to bear, with the most signal effect, 
upon the great end of all, the salvation of souls. His minis- 
try was transcendently apostolic. With many disadvantages 
of person and voice, he exercised a like loft}- sway over 
assemblages comprising intellects of every grade. While 
Benson preached, the scholar and the peasant liowed in com- 
mon before the majesty of truth, which, in plain, unadorned 
English phrases, awoke them as with the thunder-storms of 
Sinai, or melted them as with the voice from the cross.* 

* Wo have been told that his sermons were sometimes attended not 
only by the common clergy, but by Bishops of the Church. That 
great and good man, the Rev. Richard Cecil, greatly delighted to 
hoar him. He said that Mr. Benson seemed like a messenger senl 
from the other world, to call men to account. "Mr. Benson." said 
Robert FInll, "is irresistible, perfectly irresistible!" Memoirs of 
his life have been written by Macdonald and Treffry ; and a masterly 
delineation of his character, from the pen of Dr. Bunting, appears 
in the Wosleyan-Mcthorlist Magazine for 1X22. 


"With fellow-laborers like these, whose names were in the 
hook of life, Mr. Clarke would no doubt find all the soul that 
was within him roused into lawful emulation and holy sym- 

Yet there appears to have been one drawback He could 
not feel free to coincide with them as to the line he con- 
sidered they were taking in respect to the grand political 
question of the times. The bloody drama of the French 
Revolution was then unfolding scene after scene of horror. 
Two classes of opinions on this great crisis held sway on our 
side of the Channel. One school of political men, represented 
by Fox, seemed to hear in the groans of wholesale murders, 
which the winds wafted to our shores, only the death-pangs 
of tyranny, and the transient throes that were destined to 
usher in an era of permanent liberty and repose ; while men 
of another class, represented by Burke, horror-struck at the 
ghastly realities of the present, were incapable of gathering 
any augury of good for the future from a seed-time so porten- 
tously evil. The riots at Birmingham, caused by the Gallo- 
mania of Dr. Priestley and his adherents, and the general 
tendency among the masses to be led away by the dogmas of 
Paine, as the French had been by those of Voltaire, served 
to bring the threatening evil home to our very thresholds. 
While society was thus perturbed to its foundations, with 
"distress of nations" and "perplexity, the sea and the waves 
roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking 
after those things that were coming on the earth," it seems to 
have been impossible, nay, it would have been a guilty breach 
of duty, for the watchman in the pulpit to hold his peace. 
But then uniformity of doctrine could not be well expected 
on matters like these ; and the counsels delivered from the 
sacred desk took a tinge from the sentiments, antagonistic to 
each other, which through the long hours of many a night 
were then reasoned out in the Senate. Messrs. Benson and 


Bradburn differed; undoubtedly, in their modes of treating this 
grave problem ; but certainly not to that extent which might 
be inferred from the hastily-written terms in Dr. Clarke's 
statement of the matter : "It was the lot of Mr. Clarke to be 
associated at this time with two eminent men, who unfortu- 
nately took opposite sides of this great political question : 
one pleading for the lowest republicanism, while the other 
exhausted himself in maintaining the Divine right of kings 
and regular governments to do what may seem right in their 
own eyes, the people at large having nothing to do with the 
laws but to obey them. His soul was grieved at this state of 
things; but he went calmly on his way, preaching Christ 
crucified for the redemption of a lost world ; and, though his 
abilities were greatly inferior to those of his colleagues, his 
congregations were equal to theirs, and his word more abun- 
dantly useful. Political preachers neither convert souls nor 
build up believers on their most holy faith. One may pique 
himself on his loyalty, and another on his liberality ; but, in 
the sight of the Great Head of the Church, the first is a 
sounding brass, . the second a tinkling cymbal. When 

preachers of the gospel become parties in party politics, 
religion mourns, the Church is unedified, and political dis- 
putes agitate even the faithful of the land. Such preachers, 
no matter which side they take, are no longer the messengers 
of glad tidings, but the seedsmen of confusion, and wasters 
of the heritage of Christ. Though Mr. Clarke had fully 
made up his mind oh the politics of the day, and never 
swerved from his Whig principles, yet in the pulpit there 
was nothing heard from him but Christ crucified, and the 
salvation procured by his blood." 

It must be confessed there is a tone of unkindness about 
this paragraph, very unlike the magnanimity of Dr. Clarke, 
which indicates that his mind at this time was under some 
influence, to us unknown, which, in regard to this particular 


subject, beclouded his usually clear judgment. In the 
opinion he has expressed on the conduct of his colleagues, he 
was undoubtedly mistaken ; or, to use the words of a former 
biographer, "he was not sufficiently guarded in his expres- 
sions. It may be true that Messrs. Bradburn and Benson 
ranged themselves on opposite sides; that Mr. Bradburn 
took his stand on the side of Liberty, and Mr. Benson on 
that of Order ; but there is no evidence to prove that the 
one was so violent a champion of 'legitimacy/ or the ether 
so determined 'an advocate of the lowest republicanism,' as 
Dr. Clarke represents them to have been. Both these cele- 
brated ministers may have been betrayed by a well-meant 
zeal into the occasional introduction of their political specu- 
lations into the pulpit; but it is monstrous to suppose that 
from Sabbath to Sabbath they carried on a systematic war- 
fare. Mr. Clarke must have been misled by the reports of 
ignorant or designing men, who, being themselves, perhaps, 
violent partisans, tinged every thing with the deep hue of 
their own excitement ; for, while discharging his own duties 
with the zeal with which he always did discharge them, he 
could not be engaged in collecting the evidence upon which 
he founded his statement. Mr. Bradburn, indeed, published 
a sermon on ' Equality,' in which his prime end was to' show, 
' that a firm adherence to the principles of unlimited religious 
liberty was perfectly consistent with a steadfast attachment 
to the king, whom he earnestly prayed God to bless, and to 
the civil constitution, which in itself was excellent, and of 
which he highly approved.' 'If there had been no such' 
scripture,' he remarks, 'as that which commands us to honor 
the king, we,' the Methodists, 'as a people, have reason to 
love King George, and to be pleased with the civil govern- 
ment.' To such an extent, indeed, did Mr. Bradburn carry, 
his views of loyalty, that he maintained it to be the duty of 
the Methodists 'to be loyal, were a Pagan upon the throne; 



for, he adds, 'what with some is mere policy, is with us a 
case of conscience.' The whole scope of the discourse is to 
expose the levelling politics which were then so warmly 

On the other hand, Mr. Benson found himself moving in a 
population among which infidelity and republicanism were 
making victims of the same men in increasing. numbers every 
week. Paine and Voltaire had indoctrinated them not only 
with hatred to King George, but with hatred to Jesus Christ. 
In these circumstances he surely did not depart from his 
duty, but fulfilled it, in warning his hearers against the 
horrid contamination to which they were exposed, and in 
reasoning with those who were too likely to be misguided, in 
order to show them the better way Mr. Benson's ministry 
was one of almost matchless power, as the day of revelation 
will declare. There is little hazard in affirming that he was 
incapable of mixing up party politics with the momentous 
matters proper to the pulpit : a course which would have 
merited all the severe reprehension conveyed in the foregoing 

Mr. Clarke's health had not yet become sufficiently con- 
firmed to prevent occasional relapses of illness. After one 
of those seasons, he writes to his friend Mr. Mather, that 
December and January had been trying months. '• 1 
dreaded the time of meeting the classes, as this always ex- 
ceedingly hurts me, and cried to (Jod for support, (ilory 
be to God' that work' is now done ; and I have been heard 
in that T feared. There is a good work among the people. 
Many are stirred up to seek purity of heart, and two men 
at our last public bands gave a clear, rational account of a 
complete deliverance from all evil tempers and desires, in 

* Hare's Life and Labors of Adam Clarke, LL.D. 


consequence of winch they have constant communion with 
the Father, and with his Sou Jesus Christ, hy the Holy 
Spirit dwelling in them. They have enjoyed this glorious 
liberty about two months. As the Lord has condescended 
to make me the instrument of their happy deliverance 
from an evil heart, it is a great encouragement for me to pro- 
ceed in my work. There are some here who ridicule the 
mention of a work of this kind. They know best from 
whom they have learned to do so; but God enables me to 
bear down prejudice by a number of arguments deduced from 
his nature and promises. I look on this doctrine as the 
greatest honor of Methodism, and the glory of Christ. The 
Almighty forbid it should ever cease among us I" 

In the absorbing duties of the circuit two years passed 
rapidly away. Notwithstanding the turbulent character 
of the times, and the differences which prevailed in the 
societies on the question of service in church hours, and 
others arising from the anomalous position which Methodism 
then held with regard to the Establishment, the interests 
of religion were sustained and promoted in the circuit; 
and, among other good enterprises, a Strangers' Friend 
Society was set in active operation. "Mr. Clarke and I," 
writes Mr. Bradburn, "have instituted a new charity, called 
the Strangers' Friend Society. It succeeds beyond our most 
sanguine expectations. We have many pounds in hand. 
It is certainly very affecting to hear of the good done every 
week by it." These two servants of the same Master, the 
longer they lived together, liked one another the better. 
"Mr. Clarke," says Bradburn, "is a choice companion, when 
known : he is all in all as my own soul." On the other side, 
Clarke had the greatest admiration for his colleague's talents. 
"Put them all together," said he, referring to several dis- 
tinguished men, " he was not like any of them ; they would 


not all of them make such a man. He was like no man but 
himself. I never knew one with so great a command of 

In the house in which Mr. Clarke lived in Manchester, 
he left a memorial of his veneration for Mr. Wesley, in an 
inscription written with a diamond's point on a pane of glass 
in his study window : " Good men need not marble : I dare 
trust glass with the memory of John Wesley, A. M., late 
Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford ; who, with indefatigable 
zeal and perseverance, travelled through these kingdoms 
preaching Jesus for more than half a century. By his un- 
paralleled labors and writings he revived and Spread scrip- 
tural Christianity wherever he went ; for God was with him. 
But, having finished his work, by keeping, preaching, and 
defending the faith, he ceased to live among mortals, March 
ii., MDCCXCL, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. As a 
small token of continued filial respect, this inscription is 
humbly dedicated to the memory of the above, by his affection- 
ate son in the gospel, Adam Clarke." 

Upon the same window in the house in Dale street some 
other inscriptions were recorded by the same hand, consisting 
of three Greek quotations from the works of S. Clement of 

The term of the Manchester appointment expired in 
July, 1793 ; and a new scene of labor opened to him in the 
Liverpool Circuit. As in Dublin, so in Manchester, Mr. 
and Mrs. Clarke had -to leave one of their children a tenant 
of the grave. Their little son, Adam, was taken from 
them by a disease of the throat. The loss of this favorite 
child was always a tender grief in Dr. Clarke's mind, 
nor could he be -persuaded to give his own Christian name 
again to either of the sons who were afterwards added to his 

At Liverpool, he enjoyed the advantage of having for 


his colleague' the Rev. John Pawson, a man of saintly life, 
and greatly revered in the Methodist communion, both by 
preachers and people. With this much-loved and devoted 
servant of Christ he worked in perfect harmony, and the 
pleasure of the Lord prospered in their hands. Comfortably 
renovated in health, and with the dew of the Divine Spirit 
descending daily upon his soul, he , gave himself to earnest 
study, the visitation of the afflicted, and unremitted preach- 
ing in town and country ; his days now gliding serenely on.' 
The circuit at that time was more extensive than at present, , 
and many of the places were' at great distances. The 
travelling Mr. Clarke accomplished in general on fooi ; and 
on that account, preferring always, if possible, to return 
home, his journeys after preaching were often late at night. 
On one occasion, in returning from Aintree in company with 
his brother Tracy, two Roman Catholics, who had heard him 
preach, lay in wait for him. One of them from behind the 
hedge threw a stone of more than a pound weight at his 
head, with such force that it cut through his hat, and in- 
flicted a deep wound. His brother lifted him from the 
ground, and carried him to a cottage hard by, bleeding pro- 
fusely! He dressed the wound, and then went in pursuit of 
the men, whom he found in a public-house. Upon being 
charged with the offence, each accused the other. Mr. 
Tracy Clarke succeeded in having them apprehended, and 
returned to his brother. Here he found that the people of 
the cottage were Romanists themselves; and that, on learn- 
ing the facts of the case, they had expressed their strong' 
approval of the outrage, and their wishes that it had proved 
latal to the preacher. In these circumstances it was judged 
best, ill as he was, that he should be removed from so in- 
hospitable a refuge, and taken to his brother's house at 
Maghull; from whence, the next day, "the picture of death, 
with his hair and clothes still ^covered with blood," he was 

REV ADAM CLARKE, h I, . D 177 

•brought home to his alarmed wife. The illness caused by 
this affair consumed more than a month of his valuable 
time, and even threatened for a while to terminate in death. 
On recovering, he refused to prosecute, the men binding 
themselves to refrain from similar conduct. He learned, 
however, in after-days, that both of them, by progressive 
breaches of the law, had ultimately come to an evil end. 

Mr. Clarke's place of residence in Liverpool was badly 
situated on' a clay soil, where in those days extensive opera- 
tions in brick-making were carried on. The house was also 
in a confined situation, and surrounded by that description 
of small habitations, which, from want of cleanliness in their 
inmates, create a perpetual annoyance. His own description 
was very forcible : " The house is small, the street in which 
it stands miserable, the neighborhood wretchedly poor and 
wicked ; the rest I leave." A gentleman desirous of paying 
his respects demanded, " Pray, where do you reside, sir?" 
"Neither in hell, nor purgatory, yet in a place of torment," 
was the reply. ""Well, but where is it?" was the reiterated 
question. Tie answered, " You must go down Lale street, 
then along East street; and, when you are up to the middle 
in clay and mini, call out lustily for Adam Clarke " The 
societv, however, it must bo said to their honor, afterwards 
released him from that locality, and removed his house to one 
of the best parts of the town. • 

In the second year of the Liverpool appointment, Mr. 
Clarke's father and .mother came to reside in that part of 
England; his father having undertaken to conduct a. clas- 
sical school at Manchester. They were thus brought into 
the vicinity of their two excellent sons, the one a healer of 
the body, and the other an increasingly honored minister 
of him who can save the soul; each of them in his de- 
partment a hard-working man, and each of them blessed in 
his deed. 


At the close of the year, Mr. Clarke attended the Confer- 
ence, which was held at Bristol. The great Methodist 
question of that time involved the celebration of service in 
church-hours, and the administration of the sacraments in 
the chapels. Some few of the preachers, and more of the 
leading trustees in the principal circuits, were adverse to 
these measures ; but the majority of the preachers, and the 
great body of the people, were in favor of them. The more 
formal secession of Methodism as an ecclesiastical organiza- 
tion from the Established Church, indicated by such move- 
ments, had been from year to year becoming a necessary 
consequence of the circumstances which compose its early 
history. We should recollect that what may be called the 
first generation of Methodists did not by any means consist 
of members of the Church of England. A minority of them 
were such ; others had been accustomed to hear the gospel 
among the Nonconformists; but the greater mass of them 
were persons who had belonged to no Church, and many of them 
had not even been baptized. They had been saved from ruin 
by being gathered out of the world, and brought into the 
fellowship of the people of God. Now, the duty of the 
parochial clergy was to cherish this hopeful movement among 
the lower orders of the people, to cheer on their adven- 
turous brethren who had gone out into the waste places to 
bring the wanderers home to Christ, and to receive into the 
fold of the Church these newly-awakened souls; but, by a 
marvellous infatuation, they repelled them. From the pri- 
mate, Archbishop Potter, who hinted excommunication to 
the "Wesleys — and the Bishops, Warburton and Lavington, 
who assailed them and their people with reproaches and 
sarcasms — down to the most obscure country parson who 
raised the rabble of his parish to disturb their worship and 
maltreat their preachers — persecution of the Methodists on 
the part of the Church was the order of the day. " Now it 


was," says Mr. Wesley, in a paper addressed to the clergy 
themselves, " that the Bishops began to speak against us, 
either in conversation or in public ; and, on this encourage- 
ment, the clergy stirred up the people to treat us as outlaws 
or mad dogs. The people did so, both in Staffordshire, 
Cornwall, and many other places; and they still do so, 
wherever they are not restrained by their fear of the secular 

We have said, that many of the people gathered in by the 
preachers were not even baptized : they were brought to the 
parish-church, therefore, that they might then be numbered 
among the legitimate communicants. They were refused a 
welcome. On what ground ? Because there were too many 
of them ' " Oct. 13th, I waited," says Mr. Charles Wesley. 
" with my brother, upon a minister, about baptizing some of 
his parish. He complained heavily of the multitude of our 
communicants, and produced the canon against strangers. 
He could not admit that as a reason for their coming to his 
church, that they had no sacrament at their own. I offered 
my assistance to lessen his trouble, but he declined it. 
There were a hundred of new communicants, he told us, last 
Sunday; some of whom, he said, came out of spite to him. 
AVe bless God for this cause of offence, and pray it may 
never be removed !" 

So, when such multitudes had been converted in the city 
and neighborhood of Bristol, "the brothers pressed the 
people to attend the religious services of the National 
Church, and set the example themselves. The clergy in 
Bristol at first complained of the increase of their labor in 
the administration- of the Lord's supper. When they found 
that complaints addressed to the ( intruders' were of no avail, 
and that the inconvenience rather increased than diminished, 
they entered into an agreement among themselves to repel 


from the Lord's table both the Weslei/s and the people whom 
they brought to church."* 

Who, then, can wonder that the Methodist people were 
constrained to seek the consolations of Christ's sacraments 
from the hands of the men to whom, under, God, they owed 
the salvation of their souls ? But while the mass -of the 
people thus wished for the holy rites to be administered in 
their own chapels, a considerable 'number of persons in the 
societies were for retaining inviolate the original ideal of 
union and communion with the Church. Among these lat- 
ter were many of the trustees, who now, at this Conference 
of 1794, assembled in imposing strength, to bring the 
preachers to decide that the practice of administering the 
sacraments should be abrogated. The latter, however, de- 
clined to do violence to the consciences of the multitude of 
the members who were in favor of it. In this view Mr. 
Clarke, churchman as he was, perfectly coincided; And, 
from what appears in some letters of his, written from the 
Conference, tho spirit and conduct of the trustees were not 
marked by irrational or .unchristian obstinacy; and, though 
peat fears had been entertained about a schismatic rupture 
in the Connection, the question was so far amicably adjusted, 
that the societies who requested the privilege of the sacra- 
ments were set at full liberty to enjoy them. On August 2d, 
he writes : " We have this morning an answer from the 
trustees to our answer to their address. They rise in their 
demands. A committee appointed to treat with them to-day 
at four o'clock. Mr. l'awson and I arc of it. 

"August l!d. — We met yesterday at three, and continued 

* Jackson's Life nf the Rev. Charles Wesley. That the clergy of 
our day would not act in this manner, we firmly believe ; but the 
clergy of that day did, nnd the consequences are abiding. 


till near eight. We settled matters wonderfully well, and 
are in a fair train I'm- restoring peace, even in London. The 
privilege granted last year of receiving the sacrament where 
the people arc unanimous, wjjl, I believe, be very little 
extended this year. 

"August 5th. — We are still in peace, but the sacramental 
and ordination matters are not yet finally adjusted. The 
sacrament will be allowed this year where the people are 
unanimous in asking for it, and where it wou/d be impossible 
to j>i-cxerve a great- majority of the society without it. 

"August 7th. — All is peace and harmony., and will be so. 
In a much better sense than the Frenchmen can, we may 
say, The Methodist preachers are ' One and Indivisible.' 
Nolthanks to the devil and his partisans; for they have done 
all they could to disunite us." 

" The Lichfield business has been brought forward, and a 
vote passed, that none of its propositions should be brought 
forward or noticed. As things go, I am well satisfied." 

This last sentence refers to a private synod of some of the 
ministers held in the city of Lichfield, in the preceding 
April, on the invitation of Dr. Coke, to consult on the best 
means of meeting the growing wishes of the societies for the 
full ordinances of the Christian Church, alter the manner 
most in accordance with the apostolic constitutions delivered 
in the New Testament. The Doctor, who had already 
officiated in America as one of the first Hishops of the 
Methodist Episcopal 'Church, made a proposition to this 
meeting, as a preliminary to a similar overdue to the coining 
Conference, that the Methodist ministry should henceforward 
comprise the three orders of superintendents, (bishops,") 
presbyters, and deacons: a proposition which was afterward 
in some degree carried out, though under another nomencla- 
ture. At that time, as already intimated, it fell to the 


As many exaggerated and erroneous account* have been 
given of this Lichfield meeting, I will here give Mr. Clarke's 
own notes of it, taken on the spot. I have transcribed them 
from his autograph made in the room at the time. 

APRIL 2d, 1794. 

"1. A promise of secrecy. 

" 2. All the company except Mr. M. promise to abide 
by the decisions of the majority, except where he believes 
the Bible is against it, or his conscience cannot approve 
of it. 

"3. We will make no avowed separation from the Church 
of England. i 

"4. The sacrament of the Lord's supper shall be adminis- 
tered wherever there is a majority of the society who desire 
it; but the preachers must not canvass for votes, or do any 
thing to obtain a majority which may lead to division or 
strife ; nor should the Lord's supper be administered in any 
chapel where a majority of the trustees are against it, except 
a fair and full indemnification be afforded them for all the 
debt for which they are responsible, supposing they require 
such indemnity. 

" 5. That there be an order of superintendents, appointed 
by the Conference. 

" 6. That all the preachers who shall be appointed by the 
Conference shall from time to time be ordained ciders. 

" 7 That the preachers when admitted into i'ull con- 
nection shall receive their admission by being ordained 
deacons by the superintendents appointed by the Conference : 
provided, (1.) That no preacher at present on probation, or 
in full connection, shall be under an obligation to submit to 
ordination ; (2.) That no preacher shall receive letters of 
orders till he have been ordained an elder. 


" 8. That the superintendents appointed among us by the 
Conference be annually changed, if it see good. 

" 9. That the Connection be formed into seven or eight 

" 10. That each superintendent shall visit the principal 
societies in his division, at least once a year. That he shall 
have authority to execute, or see executed, all the branches 
of the Methodist discipline ; and to determine, after having 
consulted the preachers who are with him, in all cases of 
difficulty, till the Conference. 

" 11. That the superintendent of any division, where he 
judges himself inadequate to determine in any given case, 
shall have authority to call in the president to his assistance ; 
in which case the president shall, if possible, attend, and 
shall have the ultimate determination of the case till the 
next Conference. 

" 12. The divisions for the present : 

"London : Sussex, Canterbury. Godalming, Norwich, Yar- 
mouth, Diss, St. Ives, Bury, Colchester, Lynn, Walsingham, 
Bedford, Higham Ferrers. 

"(2.) Bristol: Bath, Portsmouth, Sarum, Isles, Brad- 
ford, Gloucester, Taunton, Collumpton, Plymouth, St. Austel, 
Redruth, Penzance. 

" (3.) Birmingham : Oxford, Worcester, Pembroke, 
Glamorgan, Brecon, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Burslem. 

" (4.) Manchester : Macclesfield, Leek, Stockport, etc, 

"(5.) Sheffield*: Nottingham, Northampton, Banbury, 

" (6.) Leeds. (7.) Newcastle. (8.) Scotland, Ire- 
land, the Norman Isles. 

" Proposed superintendents : Dr. Coke, Dr. Mather, Dr. 
Pawson, Dr. Taylor, Dr. Moore, Mr. Hanby, Mr. Bradburn. 

" Persons present : T. Coke, Alex. Mather, Thos. Taylor, 

1 S 1 UO OF IHU 

John Pawson, Saml. Bradburn, Jas. Kogers, Henry Moore, 
Adam Clarke. 

" The whole of the above plan to be laid before the ensu- 
ing Conference, to be adopted or rejected as they may think 
proper : but those present agree to recommend and support 
it as a thing greatly wanted, and likely to be of much advan- 
tage to the work of God." 

To return to more personal and private matters. With 
his superintendent, Mr. Pawson, Mr. Clarke had spent two 
happy years at Liverpool ; and he had formed for that excel- 
lent man an esteem which endured with his life, and sur- 
vived his decease. In the letters written to Mrs. Clarke 
from the Bristol Conference, he repeatedly refers to their 
venerable superintendent, his preaching, and his health : 
e. g., " Mr. Pawson is pretty well. I am just returned from 
hearing him at Portland chapel. He preached an excellent 
sermon indeed. Most of the preachers think him the best 
iu the Conference. I Ifeep him to his bark, and hope the 
swelling of his feet will not increase." 

In another : " I take care twice a day to give Mr. Pawson 
wine and bark. Let Mrs. P. trust him to me." 

And again : " I keep him to his bark and wine, twice a 
day ; and though he growls at me for it, I never mind him. 
Tell Mrs. Pawson she has nothing to fear." These expres- 
sions show the friendly terms on which these two good men 
lived, who were now to part. Of Mr. Pawson, as the friend 
of Clarke, we shall have to speak again. 

In the review of his residence at Liverpool, Mr. Clarke's 
mind was filled with tender gratitude to the Lord and Giver 
of life, " from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and 
all just works do proceed," for the mercy shown him in 
being enabled thus to employ his days in a work so holy. 


"Upon the very commencement of my preaching in Liver- 
pool," says he, "the Lord began to work. Crowds attended. 
Such times of refreshing from his presence I never saw. 
Should I die to-morrow, I shall praise (!<>d to all eternity 
that I have lived to the present time. The labor is severe : 
nine or ten times a week we have to preach. But God car- 
ries on his own work, and this is enough. My soul lies at 
his feet. He has graciously renewed and enlarged my com- 
mission. All is happiness and prosperity We have a most 
blessed work : numbers are added, and multitudes built up in 
our most holy faith. Such a year as this I never knew : all 
ranks and conditions come to hear us. The presence of God 
is with us; his glory dwells in our land, and the shout of a 
King is in our camp." 





" The path of the just is as the shining light, which 
shineth more and more unto the perfect day." This beauti- 
ful representation receives one example of its truth in the 
career of the subject of our memoir. He arose at the call 
of God, and went forth on a pathway of progressive bright- 
ness. We have seen how from his youth he looked and 
toiled upward; arid now, the discouragements of early years 
left behind, like the sun surmounting the morning clouds 
which had threatened to obscure its light, and pouring his 
benefic rays on all round, the man of Cod comes forth to 
the view of the Church and the world, completely furnished 
for his work, to shed the healing beams of truth upon 
myriads of minds. Mr. Clarke's appointment to London, 
in 1705, opens a new era in his life; in which each succes- 
sive year unfolded attributes of heart and intellect which 
rendered him an object of confidence and admiration. As a 
public instructor, we shall find him both from the pulpit and 


the press serving his own and coming generations, according 
to the will of God. If ever a man followed out a course 
intended for him by Providence, it was Adam Clarke. 
" You will find," says Lord Bolingbroke, (and here, for once, 
he wrote the truth,) " you will find there are superior spirits 
who can show even from their infancy, though it be not 
always fully perceived by others, perhaps not always felt by 
themselves, that they were born for something more and bet- 
ter : their talents denote their general designation ; and the 
opportunities of conforming themselves to it, that arise in 
the course of things, or that are presented to them by any 
circumstances of rank or situation in the society to which 
they belong, denote the particular vocation which it is not 
lawful for them to resist, nor even to neglect." And that is 
most emphatically true of a vocation to the work of the 
evangelist. A man who receives it, and disobeys it, never 
prospers. Woe is unto him if he preach not the gospel! 
But Clarke was faithful to the heavenly calling. Through 
toil, and storm, and want, as well as sunshine and compe- 
tence, like John the Baptist he " fulfilled his course," and, 
like Paul, " kept the faith," and won the crown. 

As a preachkr, Mr. Clarke was distinguished by his 
originality With a mind always inclining to the dialectical, 
he thought clearly, and on most subjects reasoned with a 
conclusive force which the most obtuse could apprehend, and 
the most sophisticated was constrained to acknowledge. 
But, though a thinker on his own account, by his extensive 
reading he availed himself largely of the thoughts of other 
men, only making them in a manner his own by processes of 
the mental laboratory, and always reproducing them with the 
mint-mark of his own intellect, and in combinations which 
genius only is able to form. His mind thus gave back an 
affluent return of interest upon the principal for which, in 
any amount, he was indebted to others ; and that, not only in 


the ratio of quantity, but of quality as well. -He improved 
on what he read, and worked within the deep recesses of his 
mind, by the secret of an alchemy which could transmute 
baser metals into gold. Exercising thus the faculties witli 
which Heaven had endowed him, he did not depend on 
factitious aids, but gained even at tlie outset a standing 
among those nobler intellects who think for themselves, and 
for others too. He remarks, in one of his letters to Mr. 
Brackenbury : "To reduce preaching to the rules of science, 
and to learn the art of it, is something of which my soul 
cannot form too horrid an idea. I bless Jesus Christ I have 
never learned to preach, but through his eternal mercy I am 
taught by him- from time to time as I need instruction. I 
canmjt make a sermon before I go into the pulpit ; therefore 
I am obliged to hang upon the arm and the wisdom of the 
Lord. I read a great deal, write very little, but strive to 

All the way through his long career, he was, more than 
most men of the pulpit, an extempore preacher. In the 
course of his life he wrote many sermons, which are now 
extant in his works; but the greater number of these give 
an inadequate idea of his style and manner of preaching. 
.Some of them were written designedly for the press, and 
may be considered more as theological treatises than pulpit- 
orations. He wrote as a divine, but preached as an apostle. 
3iany of his most effective pulpit-efforts were achieved with 
no previous aid from the pen. The Rev. J B. B. Clarke, 
in the retrospect he has published of his father's life, says : 
" He hardly ever wrote a lino as a preparation for preaching. 
I have now in my possession a slip of paper, about three 
inches long by one wide, containing the first words of a num- 
ber of texts ; and this was the sole list of memoranda on 
which he preached several occasional sermons in various 
parts of the country." 


. . Once, when on a visit at Plymouth, he preached for two 
hours on the great question in Acts xvi. oil : " What must 
I do to he saved V Several of the clergy of the place were 
present, and united afterwards in requesting him to publish 
the di.-course; one offering to take a hundred copies for his 
congregation, another two hundred and fifty, and anotln r five 
hundred. Yet he had to tell them, in reply, that he had 
'• neither outline nor notes of the subject, nor any time to 
commit the discourse to writing." 

Such a habit of extempore speaking can be recommended 
to the imitation of but few; and these, men in whom more 
than common power of ready and correct speech is added to 
more than common stores of knowledge. But it enabled 
Dr. Clarke to seize upon any passing incident and turji it to 
advantage, or to shift the topic of discourse, if some im- 
portant object required it, without inconvenience to hinr.ielf. 
On one occasion, after he had preached at City Road Chapel, 
a friend remarked to him, " I could not but observe that 
in the sermon you seemed suddenly to quit tlio subject in 
hand, and fly off to a series of arguments in proof of the 
Divinity of our Saviour, with which your previous subject 
was not connected. Had you any reason for so doing''" 
"Yes," said hi-; "I observed Dr. K." (a celebrated Uni- 
tarian) "steal into the back part of (lie chapel; and, after a 
few minutes, plant his stick firmly, as if he intended to hear 
me out. So. by (Jod's help I determined to bear my testi- 
mony to the Divinity of our Lord, tripling that lie would 
touch his heart, and give him another opportunity of hear- 
ing and receiving the truth." 

From time to time these free outgoings of his soul were 
attended by an uncommon influence, "the demonstration 
and power of the Spirit." In his letters to 31rs Clarke he 
mentions such occasions, not in a temper of egotistic boast- 
ing, but with a devout and wondering acknowledgment of 


the condescending goodness of God in so employing him. 
For example : 

" I was obliged to preach this morning at Oldham street. 
The congregation was really awful. Perhaps I never 
preached as I did this morning. 0, Mary, I had the king- 
dom of God opened to me, and the glory of the Lord filled 
the whole place. Toward the conclusion the cries were 
great. It was with great difficulty that I could get the people 
persuaded to leave the chapel. Though the press was im- 
mense, yet scarcely one seemed willing to go away, and those 
who were in distress were unable to go. Some of the preach- 
ers went and prayed with them, nor rested till they were 
healed. God has done a mighty work." 

Again, from Bristol : " I am this instant returned from 
King street. The chapel crowded — crowded! And God 
in a most especial manner enabled me to deliver such a testi- 
mony, from 1 Thess. i. 3, as, I think, I never before de- 
livered. I did feel as in the eternal world, having all things 
beneath me, with such expansions of mind as the power of 
(iod alone could give. I was about an hour and a half, and 
am torn up for the day." 

Mr. Clarke's pulpit-ministrations were substantially biblical. 
He preached the word. Here was the secret of his power. 
He brought a rule to bear upon the conscience against which 
there was no appeal. His congregations were summoned 
to tlie obedience of faith, not in the formulas of creeds, the 
decrees of councils, or the sentences of the Fathers, but in 
the Scripture which cannot be broken, lie "read in the 
book, in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense, and 
caused them to understand the reading." In the "true 
sayings" penned by the inspired prophets and apostles, he 
recognized and demonstrated a revelation from (iod to man, 
and, as such, the sole canon of faith and morals. "There is 
nothing certain," he used to say, " in the things which be- 


long to salvation, but the plain word of God ; no safe teacher 
but the Spirit of Jesus Christ; and that Spirit teaches the 
heart what the word teaches the understanding." His 
habits of study in elaborating his Commentary had rendered 
him master of the entire scope and contents of the sacred 
volume, and contributed to give his ordinary pulpit-dis- 
courses a rich expository character. All his learning was 
brought to bear on this blessed duty — to explain the words 
of God, that he might bring the people to the knowledge 
of the things of Gbd. What was said respecting a prelate 
of former days might be affirmed of this eminent preacher : 
" He unfolded the grandeur of a prophecy, or the comfort 
of an epistle ; and alarmed the conscience, or bound up the 
wounded heart. He brought tidings of foreign learning to 
the scholar, of discoveries to the naturalist, and of manners 
to the people " Thus he won the ears of the idle, gave 
matter for reflection to the thoughtful, and satisfaction to the 
inquisitive. He " taught in Judah, and had the book of the 
law of the Lord with him, and went about throughout all the 
cities of Judah, and taught the people." 

One consequence of this method was an inexhaustible 
variety in his preaching. The Bible contains a universe of 
truth ; and the longest life of man becomes momentary when 
brought to the task of unfolding it. We have heard of a 
German professor who spent years in a course of lectures on 
the first chapter of Isaiah, and died without completing it ; 
and we can easily conceive that such expository preachers as 
Owen and Matthew Henry would review their labors with 
dissatisfaction, as having been employed too much, to their 
feeling, on the surface, without having penetrated the myste- 
rious depths, of the solemn, solitary volume which riveted 
the gaze of their lives. Mr. Clarke, even in the earlier 
years of his ministry, adopted a- method which insured a wide 
range of Bible subjects for the pulpit, in preaching from the 

192 LIFE 01' THE 

Lesson, Epistle, or Gospel for the day : all which portions of 
the holy book he carefully examined, marking in a large text- 
book the verses which drew his special attention as likely to 
afford topics of public address. 

A preacher commanding such an amplitude of topics 
would always have something new. And therefore it was 
that Mr. Clarke's hearers, to whatever chapel they followed 
him, very seldom listened to the same discourse. The late 
Mr. Buttress, who always accompanied him when Mr. Clarke 
was stationed in London, affirmed, that he never heard him 
preach the same sermon twice. Reflecting thus the present 
exercises of his intellect, his discourses had a perpetual 
freshness; they came warm from the living heart, and 
brought life and warmth to the heart of the hearer. ' Ami 
that, especially, because they brought the gospel. We 
have said he was a biblical preacher, in the truest sense, 
ever holding forth the grand evangelism which pervades the 
Bible, as its soulund spirit — namely, that "God so loved the 
world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 
In making known this truth in all its solemn bearings and 
consequences, he was remarkable among the ministers of his 
day. In the constellation of eminent preachers who moved 
at that time in the intellectual sky, but who have now nearly 
all disappeared from our sight, Mr. Clarke was in this re- 
spect a star of the first magnitude. From his rising to his 
setting hour, unnumbered multitudes rejoiced in his light as 
a witness and guide to the mercy which could save them. 
In his ministry Christ was all in all ; the alpha and omega, 
the beginning and the end. He essayed to unfold the entire 
evangelic revelation, the whole counsel of God with respect 
to the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. He showed the 
sinner his mighty need of such a Saviour, and led him in 
repentance to his feet. By him 


" The violated law spoke out its thunders ; 
And by him, in strains as sweet as angels use, 
The gospel whispered peace." 

"The only preaching/' he said once, in a letter to a brother 
minisfer, (and the maxim had its embodiment in his own 
practice,) "the only preaching worth any thing in God's 
account, and which the fire will not burn up, is that which 
labors to convert and convince the sinner of his sin ; to bring 
him into contrition for it ; to lead him to the blood of the 
covenant, that his conscience may be purged from its guilt ; 
to the Spirit of judgment and burning, that he may be 
purified from its infection; and then to build him up on this 
most holy faith, by causing him to pray in the Holy Ghost, 
and keep himself in the love of God, looking for the mercy 
of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. This is the 
system pursued by the apostles, and it is that alone which 
God will own to the conversion of sinners. I speak from ex- 
perience. This is the most likely mode to produce the active 
soul of divinity, while the body is little else than the preacher's 
creed. Labor to bring sinners to God, should you by it bring 
yourself to the grave." 

Again, to another : " These are not only the first rudi- 
ments of heavenly teaching, but the fulness of Divine truth 
in reference {o salvation : 1. Thou art a sinner, and con- 
sequently wretched. 2. God is an eternal, unfailing Foun- 
tain of love. 3. He has given his Son Jesus Christ to die 
for thee. 4. Believe on him, and thou shalt be saved from 
thy sins. 5. When saved, continue incessantly dependent 
upon him; so shalt thou continually receive out of his ful- 
ness grace upon grace, and be ever fitted for, ever ready to, 
and ever active in, every good word and every good work. 
This is the sum and substance of the revelation of God; and, 
! how worthy it is of his infinite goodness, and how suit- 
able to the nature and state of man ! These are the simple 

, 194: LIFE OF THE 

lessons which I am endeavoring to learn and teach. This is 
the science in which I should be willing to spend the longest 
life. God ! simplify my heart." 

No man, since the Apostle St. John, seems to have had 
more large and soul-stirring views of the love of God than 
Adam Clarke. Here and there in his Commentary the 
reader will find some bursts of feeling on this grand topic, 
which will give an idea of the spirit and manner of the man 
when in the pulpit. When this mighty truth began to move 
in his soul, he became irresistible. The first time I had the 
privilege of hearing him, the text was, " God was in Christ, 
reconciling the world unto himself. Now, then, we 

are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you 
by us : we pray you, in' Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to 
God." " Behold, now is the accepted time ; . behold, now is 
the day of salvation." It was then that I witnessed, and 
felt too, how this man could master and control the entire 
intellect and heart of a great congregation by the simple, 
honest, and earnest exhibition of the faith once delivered to 
the saints. 

Hie regit dictis animos, et pectora mulcet. 

No wonder that, with this victorious sceptre of truth, the 
first preachers vanquished the world. We were all subdued : 
the tears of repentance, the uplifted eyes of prayer, the 
swelling emotion of triumphal joy, which longed to give 
itself utterance in one loud thunder of thanksgiving, all 
showed how powerful is the uncorrupted gospel whoa 
preached aright. What I then witnessed helps me to under- 
stand his meaning, when on one occasion he said, after 
preaching : " I would not have missed coming to this place 
for five hundred pounds. I got my own soul blessed, and 
God blessed the people. I felt," (stretching out his arms, 
and folding them to his breast,) " I felt that I was drawing 


the whole congregation to me closer and closet, and pulling 
them away from the world to God." 

In expatiating on that Divine mercy "whose height, whose 
depth unfathomed, no man knows," 3Ir. Clarke found end- 
less resources for the conversion and comfort of the soul and 
heart. ''The love of God," he was wont to say, "will con- 
vert more sinners than all the fire of hell." His confidence 
in the efficacy of the glad tidings, that God is love, was 
unlimited, and lasting as his life. Thus toward the end of 
his days, in conversation with his dear son Joseph, he said, 
"After having now labored with a clear conscience for the 
space of fifty years, in preaching the salvation of God through 
.Christ to thousands of souls, I can say, that is the most suc- 
cessful kind of preaching which exhibits and upholds in the 
clearest and strongest light the Divine perfection and mercy 
of the infinitely compassionate and holy God to fallen 
man, and which represents him alike compassionate and 
just. Tell then your hearers, not only that the conscience 
must be sprinkled, but that it was God himself who provided 
the Lamb." 

In the same spirit he delighted to illustrate the pleasures 
and advantages of a life devoted to the service of a recon- 
ciled God. The Rev. Joseph Clarke has given a good 
description of his father in the pulpit, which, though it takes 
us to a later period of life, we quote here, to render our idea 
of 3Ir. Clarke as a preacher as complete as we can : " The 
appearance of my father, and his effect while in the pulpit 
upon a stranger, would .probably bo something like this: 
lie" (the tttrungcr) "would see a person of no particular 
mark, except that time had turned his hair to silver, and the 
calmness of fixed devotion gave solemnity to his appearance, 
lie spreads his Bible before him, and, opening his hymn- 
book, reads forth in a clear distinct voice a few verses, after 
ringing of which he offers up a short prayer, which is inime- 


diately felt to be addressed to the Majesty of Heaven. The 
text is proclaimed, and the discourse is begun. In simple 
yet forcible language he gives some general information con- 
nected with his subject, or lays down some general positrons 
drawn from either the text or its dependencies. On these 
he speaks for a short time, fixing the attention by gaining 
the interest. The understanding feels that it is concerned. 
A clear and comprehensive exposition gives the hearer to 
perceive that his attention will be rewarded by an increase 
of knowledge, or by new views of old truths, or previously 
unknown uses of ascertained points. He views with some 
astonishment the perfect collectedness with which knowledge 
is brought from far, and the natural yet extensive excursions 
which the preacher makes to present his object in all its 
bearings, laying heaven and earth, nature and art, science 
and reason, under contribution to sustain his cause. Now 
his interest becomes deeper ; for he sees that the minister is 
beginning to condense his strength, that he is- calling in 
every detached sentence, and that every apparently miscel- 
laneous remark was far from casual, but had its position to 
maintain, and its work to perform ; and he continues to hear 
with that rooted attention which is created by the import- 
ance and clearness of the truths delivered, by the increasing 
energy of 'the speaker, and by the assurance in the hearer's 
own mind that what is spoken is believed to the utmost and 
felt in its power. The discourse proceeds with a deeper 
current of fervor; the action becomes more animated; the 
certainty of the preacher's own mind, and the feelings of his 
heart, are shown by the firm confidence of the tone, and & 
certain fulness of the voice and emphasis of manner; 
the whole truth of God seems laid open before him ; and the 
soul, thus informed, feels as in the immediate presence of the 

To this account may be appended a few lines by Mrs. Paw- 


son — all the more appropriate as they relate to the time 
already reached in our biography. This lady, the wife of 
his venerable colleague at Liverpool, has the following rneniQ- 
randum in her journal : " Brother Clarke is, in my estimation, 
an extraordinary preacher; and his learning confers great 
lustre on his talents. He makes it subservient to grace. 
His discourses, are highly evangelical. He never loses sight 
of Christ. In regard of pardon and holiness, he offers a 
present salvation. His address is lively, animated, and very 
encouraging to the seekers of salvation. In respect to the 
unawakened, it may indeed be said that he obeys that pre- 
cept, ' Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet.' 
His words flow spontaneously from the heart; his views en- 
large as he proceeds ; and he brings to the mind a torrent of 
things new and old. While he is preaching, one can seldom 
cast an eye on the audience without perceiving a melting- 
unction resting upon them. His speech 'distils as the dew,' 
and 'as the small rain upon the tender herb.' He generally 
preaches from some part of the Lesson for the day, and on 
the Sabbath morning from the Gospel of the day. This 
method confers an abundant variety on his ministry." 

The end and aim of every sermon with him was to do 
good there and then. One day, as he entered the vestry at 
City Road after preaching, a friend remarked, "What an 
admirable sermon you have preached to us this morning, sir !" 
"Brother," he replied, "Satan whispered that to me as I left 
the pulpit. But I told, him that by the mischief alone which 
it did to his kingdom God would judge it. I am afraid of any 
other good sermons than those. It is solemn work to stand 
up between the living and the dead !" 

In style and manner, Mr. Clarke's discourses derived no 

advantage from artificial rhetoric, the mellifluous charms of 

elocution, or the little embellishments on which the artist in 

•public speaking depends so much for his popularity. The 


harmony of cadences or the aesthetic grace with which the 
orator loves to group his thoughts and words so as to win the 
ear, and charm the sense of music in the soul, were things 
quite out of his line. We are not sure whether he was en- 
dowed with that kind of talent more than in a mediocre 
degree ; hut we know that he cared nothing about using it. 
Yet the absence of these circumstantials in no way interfered 
with the universally acknowledged grandeur of his ministry.. 
The Divine Spirit has endowed the teachers of the world 
with a variety of gifts. He who wrought powerfully in St. 
Peter to convince the Jew, conferred on St. Paul the ability 
to convince the Greek. Among the great preachers of the 
early Church, the men whose ministry shed sunlight on the 
ages in which they lived, we see gifts many, but all emanat- 
ing from one Spirit. It was grace that sanctified their 
natural endowments, and made itself visible in "the serious 
and careful perspicuity of Athanasius," in Basil's refined and 
graceful sweetness, in the eloquence which flowed from the 
lips of Chrysostom like streams of liquid gold, in the self- 
possessed dignity of Cyprian, the power with which Hilary 
could drape his thoughts in tragic pomp and glory, or tire 
vivid meditations with which Ambrosius could pierce the 
soul, "as with arrows dipped in honey-dew." So, in more 
modern times, the thunder-storm of Luther, and the placid 
vigor of Melancthon, and (why not say it ?) the ornate clarity 
of Massillon, the penetrating unction of Fenelou, and the 
imposing grandeur of Bossuet, all betoken his still merciful 
presence. In the mighty bursts of truth from Whitefield's 
lips, or the tranquil, sincere, and soul-commanding evangel- 
is ins of Wesley, we hear his awakening voice. Did not He 
who clothes the lilies with their beauty, and spans the heavens 
with the rainbow, give to Chalmers the imagination by which 
he brought visions of truth before men's minds like a gor- 
geous panorama ; and enable Robert Hall to show us the river 


of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne 
of God and of the Lamb ? Thus, too, in the pulpits of 
Methodism, the exuberant pathos of Bradburn, the searching 
fire of Benson, Richard Watson's majesty of mind, Robert 
Newton's bland and evangelic grace, and Jabez Bunting's 
unaffected but beautiful and potent oratory, all display the 
operations of that same Spirit, who, 

"Plenteous of grape, descends from high, 
Rich in his sevenfold energy," 

to distribute his celestial gifts according to the counsel of his 
own will. 

The servants of God, having these faculties differing one 
from another, cannot be expected every one to resemble his 
fellow; and though Adam Clarke may not be said to have 
possessed the peculiar character of any of the men we have 
named, yet was his pulpit-ministry distinguished by attributes 
which set him, in point of effectiveness, on a level with 
any of them, the apostles excepted. As an .able critic* 
says of Augustin, in comparison with some other of the 
Fathers, "he had less of beauty, but more of power, than 
they." In Dr. Clarke's preaching there was such a breadth 
and depth of information, such strength of feeling and fixed- 
ness of solemn purpose to save men's souls from death, that 
all who heard him knew within themselves that they were 
face to face with a messenger from God ; and while the 
learned and the illiterate were alike brought under the same 
spell, and earnestly attended to the words ppoken by him, ho 
so rightly divided and faithfully applied the word of the 
Lord, that the conscience of the sinner was awakened, and 
the contrite heart comforted, by its efficacy working in the soul. 

His preaching had all the more heart in it from the ex- 

* British Quarterly Review. 


perience which he himself enjoyed of the saving power of 
the truth. Why did the hearers feel so ? It was because 
the preacher had felt first. He came before them full- 
dressed in the mantle of salvation, with his lamp burning. 
He told them of a mercy which he had found, and which 
they must seek, or perish. He told them of a Saviour who 
would be presently their Judge : 

"Before him came, in dread array, 
The pomp of that tremendous day 

When Christ with clouds shall come ;" 

and with the awful light of these revelations on his soul, he 
persuaded men as well by the terrors as by the compassions 
of the Lord. He delighted, as we have said, to set forth the 
mercy of God; but it was done in such a way, that the 
whole sermon was at once a warning to the wicked, and a 
voice of consolation to the repentant. And preaching as he 
did under the conviction that this life is the only span of 
opportunity for the evil and hell-condemned to obtain re- 
mission and renewal — that, in respect to some of his hearers, 
life was verging on its latest hour, and that on the very 
moment then present hung eternity itself — he so preached 
that the truth came from his own to the hearer's heart ; that 
attention was arrested, feeling excited; the dreamer awoke 
from his abstractions, the Worldling felt the 1 * power of another 
life, the infidel insensibly believed ; of the reprobate, hovering 
angels said, "Behold, he prayeth;" at Christ's omniscient 
irlance, poor backsliding Peter again wept bitterly; and, 
ravished at the sight of a Saviour who was dead and is alive 
again, another Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord, and my God !" 
Thus the gospel came not in word only, but in power and 
assurance, and with signs of salvation. Moses struck the 

In presence of these substantial and heart-satisfying powers, 


the auditors of Clarke forgot the want of artistic accomplish- 
ments which have contributed to make the modern pulpit 
sometimes attractive. A comparatively homely manner, and 
a voice not tuned at all times to melodious cadences, were not 
once thought of. He was not a mere orator. He brought 
strong thoughts, and clothed them in honest words, as a 
means to an end. He had a purpose, and one in which you, 
as his hearer, had an everlasting interest. He wanted to 
make you a better man : he wanted to save your soul ; and 
to do this he sought to lay hold on you by the conscience. 
The ear with him was only the avenue to the heart. Unless 
a man has this purpose and aim, it is in vain that he draws 
the bow. The arrow from his hand will never find its way 
to the mark, or, should it chance to do so, will fall without 
effect, like the shaft that Homer tells of, so uselessly launched 
by Priam against the shield of the Grecian hero : 

" This said, his feeble hand a javelin threw, 
Which, fluttering, seemed to loiter as it flew; 
Just, and but barely, to the mark it held, 
And faintly tinkled on the brazen shield." 

But Clarke drew not the bow at a venture, and seldom with- 
out success in one degree or another. A multitude of sinners 
were converted under his ministry, and, among them, not a 
few who have themselves been made instruments of salvation 
to others. 

And these works and services were sustained by him for 
half a century of time, and over a great extent of area in the 
social world. Some excellent ministers are all their lives re- 
stricted to a circumscribed and narrow locality. They pass 
their days, by the ordination of Providence, in comparative 
obscurity, witnessing the truth but to a few persons, and 
shining as lights in dark and unthought-of places. But this 
man's career was more like that of the sun when he comes 


forth in his strength to bathe a hemisphere in light. He 
went literally through the length and breadth of the land. 
From the Norman Isles to the ultima Thule of the storm- 
beaten Zetlands, he revealed the glorious gospel of the grace 
of God. The English nation, one might say, knew and re- 
vered him. Men in high places, and men of low degree, in 
crowded cities and sequestered hamlets, alike waited for his 
coining, and welcomed the sound of his voice. " How beau- 
tiful upon the mountains were the feet of him that brought 
good tidings, that published peace ; that brought good tidings 
of good, that published salvation; that said unto Zion, Thy 
God reigneth!" 

One great charm, that rendered his ministry so attractive, 
was found in the well-known qualities of his own upright and 
holy life. It gives one a sacred and edifying satisfaction to 
remember how finely the precepts of the gospel which he 
preached harmonized with his personal character. He lived 
the gospel. His doctrine and life, coincident, proved him to 
be at once a great and good man. His life recommended 
religion, and was itself a ceaseless homily of things profitable 
to man and pleasing unto God. It was a life not only un- 
blemished by glaring inconsistencies, but adorned by practical 
excellence ; and I believe that no man could have used the 
words of St. Paul with less of impropriety than he : " "What- 
soever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever 
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things 
are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be 
any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these tilings. 
Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and 
heard, and seen in me, do; and the (iod of peace shall he 
with you." In this respect it will be our wisdom to imitate 
him, considering the end of his conversation, Jesus the First 
and the Last. Christum pec fore, Christum ore, Christum 
dpi re, sin nihnt. 




The vocation of the Christian minister binds him not only 
to labor to win souls by preaching, but also to watch over 
them in the services of that pastoral office which the Lord by 
an everlasting ordinance has established in his Church. In 
the discharge of this solemn duty, it was Mr. Clarke's earnest 
endeavor to approve himself faithful. His care was to feed 
the Church of God, to build up believers in their holy faith, 
to strengthen such as did stand, to comfort and help the weak- 
hearted, to raise up the fallen, and to restore the wanderer. 
As a Methodist pastor, he conscientiously administered the 
discipline of which both himself and the members of his 
flock had alike pledged their acceptance, lie considered 
that discipline to be perfectly scriptural in its character, and 
directly conducive to the edification and perpetuity of the 
Church. In the circuits in which he presided as superin- 
tendent, the peculiar institutions of Methodism were upheld 
in their vigor and integrity. Class-meeting, for example, 
which has afforded to so many myriads of Christ's disciples 
a delightful means of brotherly fellowship, mutual improve- 
ment, comfort in trouble, and timely help in necessity, he 
would never see neglected without inquiry ,-and, if needful, 
remonstrance or exhortation. The value he set on this means 
of grace appears in the fact that in several of the places in 


■which he was stationed, in addition to those official visita- 
tions of the classes which devolved on him as a minister, he 
would have his name on some class-book as a private mem- 
ber, and meet as such, as often as opportunity served. He 
urged the Methodist people to make much of this peculiar 
advantage of their communion, and sometimes, in writing a 
letter to a friend, would throw in a memento bearing on the 
duty, if it were only in the simple words, appended as a post- 
script, " 3Iind your class." So, in a letter to a captain in 
the navy, a Methodist with whom he had formed an intimacy 
at Liverpool, as a member of the Philological Society in that 
town, he says : " May I ask how you get on in your Class- 
ical, philological, and princely connections ? Do not neglect 
the two former, by any means, and let the first have the first 
claim. We live, my friend, in a miserable world; but we 
may live well in it, if we look to God. I know you will be 
faithful to the trust reposed in you by His Majesty ; but, ! 
be also faithful to the light and influence of the Spirit of 
God. Use every means of grace, and glorify God in all 
things. I long after my class, and doubt whether any one 
will let me in here. I am not sufficiently acquainted with 
the people yet to raise one like that in Liverpool." This last 
remark refers to his success in forming a class in Liverpool 
of entirely new members. At the close of the first meeting, 
he laid down his penny (the weekly contribution) on the 
table, with, "There, thank God, I am once more in class." 

Thus, to another friend: "What a mercy it is that you 
and I are now in his fold! May Hod keep us both steady! 
Abide in him, my dear friend, that, when he shall appear, you 
may sec him as he is. Tray much in private. No soul that 
prays much in private ever falls. Head the blessed 1'ook ; 
let his testimonies be your counsellors, and the subject of 
them be your song in the night. Keep closely united to 
God's people. Do not omit one class-meeting even in the 


year, if you can possibly avoid it. I have been now a travel- 
ling preacher upwards of twenty-four years, and yet I feel 
class-meeting as necessary now as I did when I began. You 
may think it strange to hear that I meet regularly once a 
week, and have done so for years. I find it a great privilege 
to forget that I am a preacher, and come with a simple heart 
to receive instruction from my leader." 

Again, farther on in life, to a brother minister : " From 
long experience I know the propriety of Mr. Wesley's advice : 
'Establish class-meetings and form societies wherever you 
preach and have attentive hearers; for wherever we have 
preached without doing so, the word has been like seed by 
the way-side.' It was by this means we have been enabled 
to establish, permanent and holy churches over the world. 
Mr. Wesley saw the necessity of this from the beginning. 
Mr. Whitefield, when he separated from Mr. Wesley, did not 
follow it.' What was the consequence? The fruit of Mr. 
Wbifeefield's labor died with himself. Mr. Wesley's remains 
and multiplies. Did Mr. Whitefield see his error ? He did, 
but not till it was too late : his people, being long unused to 
it, would not come under this discipline Have I authority 
to say so? I have ; and you shall have it. Forty years ago 
I travelled in the Bradford (Wilts.) Circuit, with Mr. John 
Pool. Himself told me this. Mr. P, was well known to Mr. 
Whitefield, who, having met him one day, accosted him in 
the following manner: Whitrftcld : 'Well, John, art thou 
still aWesleyan?' Pool: 'Yes. sir. I thank (tod I have 
the privilege of being in connection with Mr. Wesley, and 
one of his preachers.' W : 'John, thou art in thy right 
place. My brother Wesley acted wisely : the souls that were 
awakened under his ministry he joined in class, and thus 
preserved the fruits of his labor. This I neglected, and my 
people are a rope of sand.' " 

In case of habitual neglect of meeting in class, Mr. Clarke 


hesitated at the quarterly visitation to give the accustomed 
ticket as the token of membership. During his residence in 
Manchester, he met a class one day, when a wealthy member 
who never came sent a guinea as his quarterly contribution. 
Mr. Clarke, on looking over the class-paper, and seeing how 
the case stood, refused the money, desiring the leader to take 
it back again, and request the gentleman to give him, Mr. 
Clarke, an interview. 

As a superintendent, he superintended. In a family, a 
church, a kingdom, there must be a head. The. proper 
administration of the affairs of the circuit he considered a 
moral duty on his part ; and a cheerful, enlightened acquies- 
cence in every constitutional arrangement of the Church, the 
moral duty of members, leaders, local preachers, and the 
other members of the official staff of a circuit. In one place 
the local preachers demurred to his exclusive authority to 
make the Plan and fix their appointments. To show them 
by a practical experiment that it was best for the superinten- 
dent to have that power, he even let them for a time or two' 
arrange their own appointments. "Take and make out a 
Plan for yourselves," said he, "and bring it. to me, and I will 
incorporate the travelling preachers with it." They did so, 
after much altercation among themselves ; for they could not 
agree. "We soon had loud complaints from different parts 
of the circuit; for those. who were the least fit for certain 
places would go there. The next Plan I gave them as before, 
and with great difficulty they planned themselves again ; and 
then the complaints from the circuit became louder and 
louder. The most pious and sensible of the local preachers 
saw and heard this. "With the third Plan they refused to 
have any thing to do, and confidence was restored." 

Mr. Clarke wished to see the various offices of the Church 
filled by men whose religious qualifications would uphold 
their moral influence, and effectively carry out the purposes 


for which they had been established. A steward in a certain 
town had a commercial partner, who had acted in a dishonor- 
able manner. This conduct became a topic of conversation 
at the leaders'-meetmg, at which Mr. Clarke presided. The 
officer, by some remarks, intimated that he sided with his 
partner in what he had done. "Then," said Mr. Clarke, 
" give up thy stewardship ; for thou mayest be no longer 
steward." Reflection led this gentleman to see that he had 
been wrong, and that his pastor had acted rightly. He had 
greatness of mind enough to acknowledge it, and was at once 

Our worthy pastor inculcated the most inflexible principles 
on the subject of commercial integrity. In preaching one 
Sunday morning, at the old chapel in Spitalfields, on the 
fifteenth Psalm, he laid great stress on the relative duties 
there laid down for the guidance of men of business. An 
eminent merchant who had heard the sermon overtook him 
on the way home, and observed,, " Mr. Clarke, if what you 
have said to-day in the pulpit be necessary between man and 
man, I fear few commercial men will be saved." "I cannot 
help that, sir," repliod he : "I may not bring down the 
requirements of infinite justice to suit the selfish chicanery 
of any set of men whatever. It is God's law, and by it he 
will himself judge men at the last day." 

But, while thus resolute and unbending in maintaining the 
high moralities of Christian discipline in the Church, he was 
full of tenderness for the weak and afflicted, whether in 
body or mind, and knew how to blend the gravity of the 
pastor with the gentle love of a father and a friend. Here 
is a glimpse of him in the class-room, as given us by his 
daughter in one of her piously recorded recollections : " My 
father had been preaching at Chandler street, (now Hinde 
street,) and after service had a class to meet. I accompa- 
nied him on that occasion, and was permitted to sit by him. 


Addressing one present, he said, ' You, my sister, can speak 
good of the Lord. You have long known that he is gracious.' 
She burst into tears, and said, ' yes, sir ; but I have been 
most unfaithful, and my mind has been brought into great 
heaviness : during my daughter's late illness, I would not 
give her up.' 'And did your daughter die?' 'No, sir; she 
was spared to me.' ' Look up, my sister, and learn this les- 
son : God never wastes his grace by giving more than is 
needed. Had he purposed to take your daughter, he would 
have bestowed upon you the gift of resignation to meet the 
trial.' "* 

To another, who was in affliction, he said, "The cloud will 
be dispersed by and by : though affliction endureth for a 
night, joy cometh in the morning. God will not always 
afflict : remember his Son Jesus Christ, and fear not. In all 
your afflictions he was afflicted; and he still sympathizes 
with you. Often have I preached this doctrine to you ; and 
now that you need it most, receive it heartily. He is the 
same God, willing to help, mighty to save. Put his friend- 
ship to the test, and you will find him all you want, and all 
you wish." 

In the department of pastoral duty which relates to visit- 
ing from house to house, Mr. Clarke could not fully gratify 
the wishes of his heart. This, indeed, is true of the great 
majority of his brethren. There may be from a thousand to 
two thousand members under the care of two or three minis-' 
ters, who are constantly engaged in the public duties they 
owe to a number of congregations spread over an area of 
many miles. Then, again, the connectional interests of the 
body make large demands on their time, involving, in cities 
and large towns, frequent attendance on committees, whose 
activity is necessary to the effective working, and' even the 

* MS. memorandum by Mrs. R. Smith. 


existence, of several institutions of charity and religion ; 
while the pecuniary support of those institutions frequently 
requires them to give up two or three days together in jour- 
neys to other circuits to preach and speak at public meetings. 
There is also a necessity, in order to keep pace with the 
enlightenment of the age, and to maintain the confidence 
and respect of the public in the office of a teacher, that the 
minister should spend some few hours a day in his own 
study. Then it must be remembered, that social visits are to 
be accomplished either by day or in the evening. But in the 
hours of the day, while the people are engaged in their busi- 
ness or labor, a visit becomes an intrusion; and, on the other 
hand, in the evening, when families have more leisure to 
receive visits, the minister is at work in his circuit; for most 
of us preach or hold meetings every evening in the week. 
It. is- not with us, as with the parochial clergyman or the 
Dissenting minister, that, time being secured for the Sunday 
sermons and the one week-day lecture, several evenings in 
the week may be made available for visiting. AVe are so 
employed that it becomes physically impossible for us to 
gratify, according to our earnest desire, the social tendencies. 
Yet it must not be supposed, on these grounds, that tho 
Methodist people are without pastoral care :" on the contrary, 
no religious communion is so richly supplied with the means 
for the enjoyment of that privilege Not to speak of 
society meetings, in which the flock and the shepherd unite 
for intercourse and prayer; or of the weekly class-meeting, 
in which the concerns of the soul occupy the solemn transac- 
tions of* the hour; in the visitation of the classes by the 
ministers at the renewal of the tickets, we believe there is 
more direct communication between the pastor and the mem- 
ber on the interests of the spiritual life, than* would be had 
in twenty occasions in which, from the presence of other 
persons, (some of whom, it may be, are opposed or indifferent 

210 L 1 1' E OP THE 

to religious things,) the conversation takes a more general 
character. In a word, so far as mere gossiping visits are 
concerned, the preachers have, or ought to have, but very 
little time. Some of them very properly avail themselves of 
the hour of "tea-time" to exchange words of friendship 
with a family, and to offer such instruction as the opportunity 
may afford; but Mr. Clarke had (as we think, unfortunately) 
disqualified himself for this social enjoyment, by renouncing 
the use of tea, partly from a notion that the leaf itself was 
injurious to health, but more especially for the sake of 
employing the time which others spend at the tea-table in the 
prosecution of his studies.* 

And this reminds us that, in Mr. Clarke's case, it must be 
taken into account that he was called of God to a life at once 
more public, and yet more sequestered in many of its hours, 
than that of many of his brethren. It was his vocation, not 

* But here let him speak for himself. In his well-known "Letter 
to a Preacher" he thus writes: "Shun tea-drinking parties: these 
in general murder time, and can answer no good purpose, either to 
yourbody or soul. If you go out in this way at any time, let it bo 
only where you have reason to believe your visit is likely to be use- 
ful to the souls of the people ; but it is not very likely to be so where 
there is a large party. Several years ago I met with Mr. Wesley's 
Letter on Tea, read it, and resolved from that hour to drink no more 
of the juice of that herb, till I could answer his arguments and 
objections. I have seen the tract but once since, yet from (hat day 
till now I have not taken a cup of tea or coffee : for these things I 
have mostly found a substitute at t]je breakfast-table, and in the 
afternoon I take nothing. By this line of conduct, I can demon- 
strate that I have actually saved several years of time, which other- 
wise must have been irrecoverably lost." 

Not altogether lost. We cannot admit that. It may be remarked 
that Mr. Wesley saw the nullity of his own scruples, and returned to 
the use of tea. But Mr. 'Clarke, implicit disciple as he was of Mr. 
Wesley, did not follow his example here. 


Only to teach with the living voice, but through the medium 
of the press; and the hours spent b^him in earnest, labori- 
ous, and life-consuming studies, have given forth their results 
in those voluminous and imperishable works by which, though 
dead, he yet speaks, and will continue to be the instructor of 
distant generations, When we survey the massive labors of 
his pen, and call to mind the active and energetic character 
of his oral ministry, the wonder is how he could accpmplish 
all this ; and that wonder increases when we see that in the 
ueneral routine of pastoral business he would not permit 
himself to be behind his colleagues. 

Though he had no relish for gossip, and was intolerant of 
the waste of time, yet in visiting the sick and afflicted of his 
flock he was among the foremost. He adhered to the letter 
of "the Twelve Kules," to which, as a preacher, he had 
pledged his obedience, desiring " never to be unemployed," 
and "always to go to those who wanted him most." Had ho 
then time for some visits ? He would hasten to the house of 
mourning rather than to that of festivity, and with the poor 
and the needy he would share his last sixpence. It was his 
care to do good as well to the body as to the soul. His 
knowledge of medicine enabled him to u;ivo gratuitous relief 
to many a sufferer. While in Dublin, he attended the lec- 
tures on Anatomy and Materia Modica, which supplemented 
a large amount of knowledge he had acquired of the healing 
art by extensive reading and observation ; and all this he 
turned to account in many a chamber where disease aud 
poverty were the joint inmates. In cases, however, of a 
critical nature, he sought aid for the sick poor from profes- 
sional men, of whom there were many in the circle of his 
own friends. At Manchester and other places he became 
acquainted in this way with most of the faculty. In the 
former city Dr. Eason was much attached to him. He told 
Mr. Clarke that he liked to attend the Methodist people in 


their last hours — "they died so peacefully." From what I 
have read in manuscript letters, written in later years by the 
subject of our memoir, that eminent physician himself found 
unspeakable benefit to his own soul from the intercourse to 
which allusion has just been made. 

Mr. Clarke was once sent for by a person in dying circum- 
stances, who proved to be a gentleman who had been awakened 
under a sermon of his some time before, and who, though 
then in much penitential trouble, had not yet found rest for 
his soul. The minister heard the recital of his anxieties, 
and formed so good an opinion of his case as to wonder that 
he had not already received some comforting token of the 
Lord's forgiving grace. In giving such counsel as he thought 
to be required, he intimated to the gentleman a surmise that 
there was some important act of duty from him to God or 
man which he was knowingly neglecting. Whereupon the 
dying man related that, in sailing some years before from a 
foreign port to England, he had, by way of frolic, secreted a 
small bag of dollars which had been committed to the 
captain's care, but which had been carelessly allowed to lie 
day after day upon the locker. At the end of the voyage, 
the captain making no inquiries for the bag, it was still de- 
tained, and several months elapsed before any thing was 
heard concerning it. At length the parties for whom the 
money was designed, having received notice of the fact, applied 
to the captain, who candidly acknowledged that he took it 
on board, but added that he could give no further account of 
it. By this time the person in whose hands it was became 
alarmed, and was ashamed to confess, lest his character should 
suffer ; and so he hid the property. The poor captain was 
sued for the amount, and, having nothing to pay, was thrown 
into prison, where, after languishing for two years, he died, 
The guilty person now strove^to banish all thought of, the 
misery which he had occasioned, and to drown the voice of 


conscience by business and amusement. But it was all in 
vain ; and, especially from the time when he heard Mr. Clarke 
preach, he had suffered great disquietude of mind. lie had 
agonized at the throne of mercy for pardon, but he could 
obtain no answer, and he feared he must go down to the grave 
unpardoned, unsaved. The minister inculcated the necessity 
of restitution. The sum, with compound interest, was paid 
to the widow of the captain. The poor man thereupon 
found tranquillity of mind, and expired at length in the enjoy- 
ment of the mercy of God. 

Wherever Mr. Clarke found genuine piety, it had an at- 
tractive charm, which drew his steps again and again to the 
humblest abode. He had, in fact, some of his chief favorites 
among the truly religious poor. In visiting the simple- 
hearted members of his flock, Mr. Clarke made himself at 
home with them, entered into their affairs, and showed them 
that he could not only understand their joys and sorrows. 
but feel with them. He liked also to eat a mouthful of their 
food as a token of friendship. " I always eat with people," said 
he, "either breaking a piece from pff a biscuit or cutting a 
crust from a loaf, to show thcni that I am disposed to feel at 
home among them; for, even if they arc very poor, there are 
many ways of returning the kindness without wounding the 
feelings of the party by whom the hospitable disposition is 
manifested." So he has been known to eat two or three 
potatoes in a cottage, and give a shilling pleasantly for each 
of them. His visits were designedly short. He was aware 
that a lengthened stay might inconvenience the family, and 
spoil the good effect of the interview. lie did not, therefore, 
as he once termed it, "make a dose of himself where he 
went," or turn what he wished to be an agreeable visit into 
a disatrreeable visitation. 

But in the genial friend he never forgot the pastor, but re- 
prove!, exhorted, gave counsel, and offered •consolation, as 


the ease demanded ; while among intelligent young people he 
would bring out of the stores of his classical and eastern 
reading an example, an anecdote, or an illustration, which 
gave additional interest and force to the precept he wished 
to inculcate. Thus : 


It was once demanded of the fourth khalif, Aalee : " If 
the canopy of heaven were a bow, and the earth were the 
cord thereof; if calamities were arrows, and mankind were 
the mark for them ; and if Almighty God, the Tremendous 
and Glorious, were the unerring Archer ; to whom could the 
sons of Adam flee for protection V The khalif answered, 
saying, " The sons of Adam must flee unto the Lord." 


The philosopher Athenodorus, who had long resided in 
the court of Augustus, petitioned the emperor to allow him 
at length to retire to some quiet retreat, where he might end 
his days in solitude and peace. The request was granted, 
and on taking leave of the emperor he ventured to give his 
sovereign the following precept : " Cassar ! I have an advice 
to give thee : Whensoever thou art angry, take heed that 
thou never say or do any thing until thou hast distinctly 
repeated to thyself the twenty-five letters of the alphabet." 
"Athenodorus \" exclaimed the emperor, seizing his hand, 
" thou must not leave me; I have still need of thee." 


Reference being made to a work, the general tendency 
of which was bad, though it contained many well-written 
and brilliant passages, and one of these being quoted with 
admiration, Mr. Clarke said: "The Persian poet Ilafiz bor- 
rowed the first couplet of his Divan from an Arabic poet of 


disreputable morals. His friends wondered at it, and some 
remonstrated. Hafiz vindicated himself by saying that the 
lines contained a fine sentiment; to which one of the 
objectors replied, ' The lion would disgrace himself were he 
to snatch a bone from the mouth of a dog !' " 

Mr. Clarke urged upon his people the necessity of a 
thorough conversion, and a constant effort for moral improve- 
ment ; of all that is implied in working out our salvation, 
while God works within to will and to do. " Remember," 
he would say, " that the power that cleanses is needed to 
keep us clean. It is by Christ dwelling in our hearts by 
faith that we are preserved in holiness ; and he dwells in the 
heart of those only who are lovingly obedient to his voice. 
Obedience to the will of God is the very element in which 
the, Christian should live. Seek out his commandments till 
you find none left; seek to do them at all times, and in all 
places. How blessed to do this'" "You tell me," said he 
to one, " that God has opened your eyes : can you tell me 
that he is keeping them open ?" So, not only as when 
present, but when absent also, he bore in mind those whom 
he had once served in the gospel. Some of his letters are 
thoroughly pastoral. Here is an extract from one, written 
to a lady who was mourning the loss of her husband : " I 
rfm well aware that grief like yours can be alleviated by God 
alone; but it must increase the distress of your situation to 
find a former friend careless or unaffected. God conde- 
scended to make me a messenger of peace to your dear 
husband ; and how much I loved him, you, and every branch 
of your family, it is impossible for me to tell. My love was 
such- that your joys overjoyed me, and all your troubles 
deeply affected me. If it be now impossible for 

xnu to comfort you, it is as much so for me not to sympathize 
with you. . . But the good, the merciful God needs 


no entreaty to come in to your assistance. He is the 
Fountain of endless love. He knows what he has called you 
to pass through ; and, as he ordained the trial, so has he the 
measure of strength necessary to support you under it. Yes, 
my dear sister, he loves you, and will never leave you, no, 
never forsake you. He spared your dear hus- 

band, that he might know his name and receive his salvation; 
and then, perceiving the evil that was in his way, and per- 
haps would have proved his ruin, he has taken him to him- 
self from the evil to come. This we are always authorized 
to say in such cases, as we are fully assured God does all 
things well, and never willingly afflicts the children of men. 
And what a wonderful and encouraging saying is 
this — ' Thy Maker is thy Husband !' and he is thy husband's 
God. Then, my sister, if you cannot as yet rejoice, you can 
submit to his will, and confide in his mercy, knowing that 
this also, distressing as it is, will work for your good. 

."A few days ago I was called to visit a family in distress. 
One child was dead; the father was just put into his coffin, 
and the mother expired a few moments after I went in. 
Things are never so ill, but they might be worse. May 
your father's God, and the God and the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, be your comfort and support, and save you and 
yours unto eternal life 1" 

In his Commentary on the New Testament, we often meet 
with sentiments and precepts relating to the pastoral office, 
which were evidently transcribed from an imprint which the 
Divine hand had made on his own heart, and which it was 
the study of his life to carry out into practice. " Here," 
writes he, " is the difference between the hireling and the 
good shepherd. The hireling counts the sheep his own no 
longer than they ai>e profitable to him : the good shepherd 
looks upon them as his, so long as he can be profitable to 
them." "A goo'd shepherd conducts his flock where good 

BEV- ADAM CLAKKE, L L . D . 217 

pasturage is to be found, -watches over them while there, 
brings them back again, and secures them in the fold. So he 
that is called and taught of God feeds the flock of Christ 
with those truths of his word which nourish them unto eter- 
nal life, and God blesses together both the shepherd and the 
flock ; so that, going out and coming in, they find pasture." 

We will now resume our narrative. Mr. Clarke was 
about to enter upon a vast field of ministerial labor in the 
metropolis. He went into it trusting alone in God, 
present Spirit could be his only sufficiency. To save one 
soul from hell, or to guide one man from earth to heaven, is 
a task to which no mere human wisdom or work is adequate. 
But he who hears the voice which says, " Lo, I am with you 
alway, even to th« end. of the world," will go about in the 
strength of the Lord, making mention of his righteousness, 
even his only. Such was the frame of mind in which this 
single-hearted and faithful servant of the Lord endeavored 
to discharge the trust conferred by Him who in his provi- 
dence had led him to the work, and by his grace had 
endowed him with those heavenly gifts which qualified him 
to do it — 

"A prophet's inspiration from above, 
A tcaoher's knowledge, and a Saviour's love." 




At the present time the Methodist communion has nine 
metropolitan circuits; but in the year 1795, when Mr. 
Clarke received his appointment from the Manchester Con- 
ference, the whole of London, and much of the surrounding 
country, formed but one vast circuit. It extended, in fact, 
from Woolwich to Twickenham, and from Edmonton to Dork- 
ing, with occasional visits to various outlying places, as Bark- 
ing, St. Alban's, etc. There were about four thousand 
members in society. The superintendent was Mr. Pawson ; 
and Mr. Clarke's other colleagues were Messrs. Wrigley, 
West, Griffith, and Reece. His residence in John street, 
Ppitalfields, adjoined the chapel. - Here he resumed, with 
greater intenseness than ever, the labors of his devoted life ; 
for, in addition to the great physical and intellectual efforts 
demanded by his pulpit and pastoral work, his mind was now 
beginning to put forth its strength in those literary toils 
which in their results have given him an abiding name. All 
his past studies had been but preparatory; and from the 
stores he had been accumulating, he felt it a law of God in 
his conscience to "bring forth out of his treasury things new 
and old," for the increase of learning, and the promotion of 
truth and piety among men. And more especially were his 
energies concentrated, in the study, on the elaboration of a 


Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, to which he applied all 
the leisure time he could command ; and this, from the very 
nature of his public engagements, could be only found in the 
early part of the day. One of Mendelssohn's works has the 
title of "Morning Hours;"* and we are sure that Adam 
Clarke might have given a similar designation to the goodly 
array of volumes with which he has enriched our religious 
literature. We have in them the first fresh thinkings of 
his mind — dew-drops glittering in the orient sun, or manna 
gathered in the prime. He knew that, unless the early time 
of the day were redeemed, his life would yield but little fruit 
in the field of literature. He became, therefore, a com- 
panion of the morning star. Later in the day he had to 
meet- the calls of one duty after another, till it was time to 
take his accustomed journey for the pulpit and class-work 
of the evening. His duties in this last respect took him to 
various parts of the town, and places in the suburbs lying 
miles away from home. He either could not or would not 
avail himself of any means of conveyance; but usually per- 
formed his journeys on foot, except when appointed to 
Dorking. In this way. during his three years stay in the 
circuit, he walked more than seven thousand miles. In 
these perambulatiops, he had an almost constant companion 
in Mr. Buttress, one of the leading Methodists of the Spital- 
fields chapel ; whose name, as maintained by his descendants 
to the present day, is honorably cherished in the communion 
to which they have been* steadfast. Wherever Mr. Clarke 
was seen in the pulpit, Mr. Huttross was to bo found in the 
pew. He, of all men, would be prepared to give an opinion 
as to the monotony or manifoldness of his friend's ministra- 
tions ; and his testimony goes to affirm, that Mr. Clarke's 
preaching was remarkable for its endless variety. To one 

* Morgenstunden. 


who asked him whether he did not become tired with hear- 
ing the same discourses so often, he gave the reply, that he 
had never heard the same discourse twice, except on one 
occasion, when it was repeated at his own request. " Well," 
returned the inquirer, "if you did not hear the same 
text, did he not take the same subject?" "No," said Mr 
Buttress, " not any thing beyond the broad gospel of Jesus 
Christ."* - 

The results of these well-sustained exertions can. only be 
unfolded in the final day. In the case of a Methodist 
minister, who cooperates with so many others in the same 
pulpit, it becomes peculiarly difficult to pronounce upon the 
measure of good effected by the ministry of one alone. No 
doubt, each of those good men, who labored so cordially in 
word and doctrine,, had seals to his own ministry ; and all of 
them enjoyed the solemn gratification of witnessing the pro- 
gress of the work of God in their circuit at large. Mr. 
Clarke did not long prosecute his work in London before he 
was cheered by the tokens of the Holy Spirit's presence and 
grace in the gathering in of some who were the first-fruits of 
a more .extensive harvest. Among these were two, whose 
conversion to^ God was productive of consequences of ever- 
lasting benefit to many more, 

Mr. Joseph Butterworth, an opulent law- publisher in 
London, had married Miss Anne Cooke, the sister of Mrs. 
Adam Clarke. Mr. Butterworth, though the son of a Bap- 

* A biographer should not hesitate to relate oiroumstances which, 
at times may appear too trivial to merit a record. Dr. Ferdinando 
Warner boosted that ho had written his compiled "System of 
Divinity," in five volumes, with one pen ; and Mr. Clarke used to 
tell how he performed those seven thousand miles of walking with 
one. pair of shoes, "made at Altrincham, in Cheshire, and only a 
fortnight old when ho, entered the city. They were often mended, 
but served the purpose !" 


tist minister, (author of a well-known Concordance to the 
Holy Scriptures,) was not, at that time, a decidedly religious 
man, nor under any influences which would prepossess him 
in favor of Methodism. Still, as Mr. Clarke was his brother- 
in-law, though personally unknown to him, he felt a sort of 
curiosity to hear him. The effect the sermon had upon him 
led Mr. B. to hasten the fulfilment of a purpose to call on 
him, and to seek a personal acquaintance. He accordingly 
went the next day with his lady to ' Spitalfields. Mrs. 
Butterworth had not seen her sister for years, as, from the 
disinclination Mrs. Cooke had entertained for her daughter's 
marriage with Mr. Clarke, but little intercourse had obtained 
between the families. These old things, however, were now 
passing away, and the two sisters were enabled to renew the 
friendship of their earlier days under the sanctifying bene- 
dictions of religion. Learning that Mr. Clarke was going to 
preach that evening at Le3 T tonstone, Mr. Butterworth offered 
to accompany him. 

On the road Mr. Clarke soon perceived that the mind of 
his brother-in-law was awakened to serious inquiry about the. 
way of salvation; and the little journey passed rapidly in 
animated conversation on the things of God. In fact, tho 
'• vital spark of heavenly flame" had been kindled in Mr. 
Butterworth \s heart ; and on the way homeward he disclosed 
to Mr. Clarke that, while hearing him preach on tho pre- 
ceding Sunday, he had received impressions of the truth 
which had moved him to se«'k the grace of repentance unto 
life; that a sense of guilt and depravity had arisen in his 
conscience; and that it was his great desire and determina- 
tion to find the mercy which alone could save him. Bight 
gladly did Mr. Clarke point out to him the way to the attain- 
ment of peace with God, through Jesus Christ; and when, 
after supper, the visitors having gone home, Mr. Clarke re- 
luted to his wife the conversation which had taken place between 


himself and her brother-in-law, his gratification was greatly 
enhanced by learning that the sisters had spent the evening 
in converse on the same theme. Mrs. Butterworth had par- 
ticipated with her husband in the Divine influence which 
attended the discourse on Sunday, and acknowledged that she. 
had come for the purpose of conferring with her sister about 
the things belonging to her eternal peace. Equally remark- 
able it is, that both these inquirers after the pardoning mercy 
of God found the grace they were seeking while hearing an- 
other sermon from Mr. Clarke. The friendship established 
under these auspicious circumstances received an eternal 
seal. Joined to the Lord in one spirit, and in one hope of 
their calling, they spent their remaining days in the service 
of their redeeming God ; and, being gathered i( into the ark 
of Christ's Church," " steadfast in faith, joyful through 
hope, and rooted in charity," so passed " the waves of this 
troublesome world," as to come together "to the land of 
everlasting life." The Butterworths, having given their 
hearts to the Lord, gave their hands at once to his cause, and 
as members of the Methodist communion adorned -the doc- 
trine of their Saviour in a. Jife fragrant with devotion and 
beneficence. In the Church, Mr. Butterworth long-sustained 
most influential ofiices ; and in the world, whether as a-.mer- 
cantile man, as a patron and manager of various philanthropic 
institutions, or as a diligent and effective member of Parlia- 
ment, he stood for many years conspicuous among the best 
men of his time. 

In the London Circuit at large, Mr. Clarke, and his ex- 
cellent colleagues, had the great encouragement of witnessing 
the tokens of Divine mercy in those signs and wonders of 
salvation by which much people were turned to the Lord. 
In writing to a friend at Liverpool, he describes this work as 
an outpouring of the Spirit of God such as he had never 
seen before. " Every part of the city seemed to partake of 


it. The preachings were well fended, and a gracious influ- 
ence rested on the people. After the regular service we 
have a prayer-meeting, in which much good is done. The 
first movement took place in our Sunday-schools ; and in 
Spitalfields, New Chapel, West street, and Snow's Fields, 
simultaneously. Several sheets of paper would not suffice to 
give you even" a general idea of what is going on. Last 
night we had our love-feast. For ahout half an hour the 
people spoke : when all was ended in that way, we exhorted 
and prayed with many who were in great mental distress. 
We remained four hours in these exercises. You might 
have seen small parties praying in separate parts of the 
chapel at the same time. The mourning was like that of 
Hadadrimmon; every family seemed to mourn apart. We 
who prayed circulated through the whole chapel, above and 
below, adapting our prayers and exhortations to the circum- 
stances of the mourners. Many were pardoned ; to others 
strong hope was vouchsafed, and then was the advice given 
by each to his neighbor to believe in Jesus : ' He has par- 
doned me ! 0, do not doubt, seeing he has had mercy upon 
me, the vilest of sinners !' One scene particularly affected 
me. A young man, recently married to an unconverted 
young jWoman, persuaded her to kneel down with two others 
who were in deep distress. Presently she was cut to the 
heart : I visited them backward and forward, at least a score 
times. After they had been about three hours in this state, 
5 the young woman found, peace, and in a short time the other 
. two entered into liberty. When the young fellow found his 
wife praising God for his mercy, he was almost transported 
with joy j he sung, prayed, and 'praised; and great indeed 
was their mutual glorying, and so was ours on their behalf. 
Well, thus we continued, until at a late hour I prevailed 
on the people, with some difficulty, to go home. We are 
trying to get these meetings shortened. If friends Russell, 

224 L 1 1' E U F THE 

Robinson, etc., were here, they would be in their ele- 

The population in that part of London where Mr. Clarke 
resided has always comprised large masses of the poor and 
destitute, and in seasons of commercial depression the poor 
of Spitalfields have been subjected to great distress. This 
was the case during his sojourn in that neighborhood, and it 
well accorded with the disposition of his heart, aching so 
often at the sight of so much misery, to be associated with a 
number of the Society of Friends, who had formed them- 
selves into a union for distributing bread and soup to the 
famishing. For that respectable body he then formed an 
esteem which he cherished through life, and which, on their 
part, was strongly reciprocated. 

From the severe toil of the circuit, and the constant ten- 
sion of his mind, as Well for the pulpit as the press, his health 
became now so disordered as to compel him to obey the re- 
quirement of his medical advisers, to retire for a short time 
into the country. He spent, therefore, a little while at the . 
seaside in Kent, where he was greatly revived by the pleasant 
air and scenery of the coast, and then took a short tour into 
"Warwickshire, where the ruins of Kenilworth and the baron- 
ial halls of Warwick Castle afforded him a delight which he 
has vividly described in his letters to his family at home. At 
Coventry he formed an acquaintance with the venerable Mr. 
Butterworth, the father of his brother-in-law, and had the 
pleasure of occupying the aged minister's pulpit. - Though 
this effort did not contribute to augment his slowly returning 
strength, it was attended by the satisfaction of knowing that 
it was not made in vain. "Yesterday," he writes,"" I had 
indeed sore work. I preached three times, and at least an 
hour each time. I was much at liberty, and really believe 
much good was done. The old gentleman and all his flock 
seem highly pleased. The people are absolutely {pro tempore) 


turning Methodists, without knowing it. Several of Mr. 
Butterworth's disaffected members, who hare not been in his 
chapel for many months, came twice yesterday, and are likely 
to continue." And in another letter : " On Friday evening 
I preached at our own place, and had the house full. Most 
of Mr. Butterworth's family were there, and the principal 
members of his church. Never did such death-like attention 
occupy an assembly during the hour that I insisted on Matt, 
vii.. 7 : 'Ask, and ye shall receive,' etc. The good old man 
got almost into the seventh heaven : had it not been that I 
made the full salvation of God too easy to be attained, he 
might have walked that evening into paradise. I believe a 
general quickening took place among all, and I need not tell 
you how our Joseph and his wife* were affected." And 
again : " This morning we were to have set off for Birming- 
ham ; but I found myself so much indisposed that I did not 
like the thought of setting off in such a tempest; Weary as 
I am, I must preach to-night at our own place, and to-morrow 
night at Mr. Butterworth's ; after which I am to take coach 
for London, and ride all night. If this be not the way to 
wear out, it is certainly not the way to rust out." 

. With somewhat recruited health, Mr. Clarke resumed his 
engagements in London, and completed the third year of 
labor in that circuit. He seems to have worked in perfect 
harmony with his colleagues, except about one difficulty which 
occurred in the case of Dr. Whitehead, who, having been 
ejected from the office of local preacher by the late superin- 
tendent, Mr. Rogers, on account of what was deemed a dis- 
honorable use of certain papers in preparing his biography 
of Mr. Wesley, was now making strenuous efforts for rein- 
statement on the Plan. In this he was seconded by many of 
the trustees, and had also the concurrence of Mr. Pawson 

* Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth, who were then visiting at Coventry. 

226 life or the 

and others of the preachers. Mr. Clarke, however, felt com- 
pelled to oppose the wishes of his excellent superintendent; 
nor, though Dr. Whitehead was subsequently reinstated, 
could he ever modify the opinion he had formed on that sub- 
ject. This little ruffle, however, soon passed away, and the 
current of friendship rolled on, with a deeper sense of esteem, 
from the knowledge that each minister had of the other's 
integrity, and the year, which had thus commenced under 
somewhat unpropitious influences, passed away in peace. 
And this was the case with the Connection at large, which, 
within the last three years, had been severely tried by the 
hostile movements of Mr. Kilham and his partisans. Into 
the details of that wretched controversy we have no inclina- 
tion to enter. Its rise and progress are matters of Method- 
istic history, and time, the great prover of all things, has 
given such a verdict on the relative merits of the "Old'' and 
the "New Connection" as the friends of the former are most 
thankful to accept. One tempest has broken its force upon 
it after another, but Wesleyan Methodism was never so strong 
as it is to-day. 

At the end of his third year, Mr. Clarke attended the 
Conference of 1798 at Bristol, which was held under the 
presidency of Mr. Benson. While there, he wrote to Mjts. 
Clarke, from time to time, some of the "Conference news." 
"Notwithstanding our great hisses by the Kilhamites, we 
have had," says he, "a considerable increase this year. We 
are now, glory to the God of heaven, not less than one hun- 
dred thousand seven hundred and fifty-six in Great Britain 
and Ireland. Strange to tell, all the Irish collections have 
increased. Mr. Mather, Mr. Benson, and others, have been 
at me in private to go to Cornwall, and be general superin- 
tendent for the whole county. I, am not very fond of rulinir, 
yet I think it is possible I may be sent there. The 

characters of the preachers examined — all gone through ; 


and, among upwards of three hundred travelling preachers, 
not one charge of immorality brought against any soul ; and 
yet every thing was sifted to the heart. O, what thanks do 
we owe to God for thus preserving us from the corruptions 
of the world ! A solemn exhortation was then given by 
Messrs. Benson, Mather, and Pawson, to all the brethren, 
that they should keep themselves pure." He adds, pleasant- 
ly, "A few preachers were found guilty of long sleeves, 
cropped heads,* and stringed shoes," (the buckles cast away !) 
"and severely reprimanded. After all, never was there a 
body of men in the world who winked less at any appearance 
of evil than these ; and I solemnly believe no body of Chris- 
tian ministers, since the world began, so large, was ever found 
more blameless." 

At this Conference, Mr. Clarke was a good deal busied in 
settling on a legal basis the Preachers' Annuitant Society, to 
which he became, for a time, both treasurer and secretary 
In the prosperity of this institution he ever took a lively in- 
terest, from his sympathy for the aged and disabled laborers 
in a field in which he himself was fast wearing out strength 
and health, as well as on account of the modicum of comfort 
its scanty resources would afford to the widow and orphan. 
Among some papers before me there is a memorandum by 
Mrs. R. Smith, relating to this point, which I shall do well 
to insert : " My father was remarkable for the zealous care 
he manifested over any trust committed to him, though he 
undertook a charge of that nature very unwillingly. At one 
period it was Ms duty to receive the dividends of the Preach- 
ers' Annuitant Society. Having casually learned that the 
broker who transacted the business of the dividends had in- 
volved himself in speculations, he determined to apply for 
the money as soon as it could bo received from the Bank, 

* Cong hair was the orthodox style. 


and, requesting me to accompany him, entered the counting- 
house of the gentleman in question, who, seated at his desk, 
received this unexpected visit not very graciously. 'I am 
come, sir, for the dividend on the Preachers' Annuitant So- 
ciety.' ' I am very busy, sir, and cannot attend ■ to it now,' 
was the reply. ' I am very sorry to inconvenience you, sir ; 
and, as I myself am in a hurry, will only trouble you to hand 
it to me, and not intrude any further on 'your time.' 'I can- 
not give it to you now, sir, having much more important busi- 
ness here before me.' 'Why, it will not take you long to 
hand it to me, and then I will leave you to your business, 
and go away on -my own.' The gentleman, displeased at see- 
ing him so determined, said, 'I cannot be interrupted, Mr. 
Clarke, nor possibly give it" to you now:' upon which my 
father said, in a voice of resolute firmness, 'Sir, I stand here 
on behalf of the widows and orphans of God's Church, and 
claim for them the money you hold, which that Church has- 
raised for their support. They speak by my mouth, and I 
will not leave till you put the money into my hand. The 
money, sir, and I am gone.' The money was paid, and my 
father took his leave, satisfied that he had performed a just 
though painful duty." Mr. Clarke's connection with this 
legalized fund extended over several years. . „ 

The close of the Conference left him appointed for the 
second time to Bristol, under the superintendency of that 
truly good man, Mr. Walter Griffith. They found the 
society but slowly recovering from the shattering effects of 
the storm of controversy which had assailed ft from opposite 
quarters : from the anti-sacramental bigotry 'of the trustees 
and their partisans^ on the one extreme, and the ultra- 
democracy of the new Kilhamite school on the other. It 
seems, however, to have been the determination of the. new 
preachers to know nothing among those quarrelsome people 
save Jesus and him crucified ; well knowing that if Christ 


came, he would • bring peace with him. The spirit with 
which Adam Clarke went to work, and the encouragements 
which sustained him, become apparent in a letter dated 
about a month after his arrival in the circuit: "Through 
mercy, we are all Well. Last Sunday was my turn at Kings- 
wood and Wick. I had a large congregation in the morn- 
ing, and such a sense of the presence of God rested on us all 
as some of the oldest members said they had never felt 
before. I took that glorious subject : ' How excellent is thy 
loving-kindness, God !' etc. My own soul was greatly 
watered, and the Lord sent a plentiful rain on his inherit- 
ance^ Though the place was thronged, there was not a 
sound in it save that of my own voice ; till, describing how 
God gave to those who turned to him to ' drink of the river 
of- his pleasure' — to be filled with the very thing which made 
God himself happy— I raised my voice, and inquired, in the 
name of the living God, ' Who was miserable ? Who was 
willing to be saved? to be made happy? Who was athirst!" 
A" wretched being, who had long hardened his hear£ by a 
course of uncommon wickedness, roared out : ' I am, Lord ! 
lam! I am !' In a moment there was a general commotion. 
I seized the instant, and told them to compose themselves 
and listen; for I had something more to tell them — some- 
thing for every soul, a great, an eternal good. I am just 
gwirig toopen to you another stream of ' the river of his plea- 
sure.' They were immediately composed ; and in a very few 
moments such a flood of tears streamed down all cheeks rh 
you have perhaps never seen, and all was silence but the 
sighings which escaped, and the noise made by the poor fel- 
low who was still crying to God for mercy. In about half 
an hour we ended one of the most solemn and blessed 
meetings I ever ministered in. I was then obliged to set off 
for Wick, a place several miles farther. Here I had a good 


" You will wish to know what became of the poor man, 
and I am glad I can tell you. I had it yesterday from one 
of the leaders at Kingswood. When he left the chapel, he 
set off for the first prayer-meeting he could find, thinking 
God would never forgive his sins till he made confession un- 
reservedly of all his iniquities. He began in the simplicity 
of his soul, and, with an agonized heart, and streaming eyes, 
made known the evils of his life. They prayed with him, 
and God gradually brought him into the liberty of his 

In the following month Mr. Clarke was called to mourn 
the death of his father, who had been declining in health for 
some time, and latterly so much so as to excite a strong 
desire in the mind of his son to go down to Lancashire to 
see him, and receive his blessing. But the unavoidable 
business which pressed upon him on entering his new circuit 
at the ticket-time, and his own domestic circumstances, 
obliged him still to delay, till, to his great grief, the oppor- 
tunity .had for ever passed. He had written, however, "to 
an old and very intimate friend, John Berwick, Esq., of 
Manchester, entreating him to watch over his father, and to 
minister to his comfort." Mr. Berwick fulfilled the request, 
and attended the invalid to the last. " When I arrived this 
forenoon," he writes to Mr. Clarke, announcing the solemn 
event of his parent's decease, " I found him much altered 
indeed. He was seated in his chair, but wanted to 

be removed into bed. I wished to have your desire of ' a 
line from his own hand.' I therefore put a table before hi in, 
and paper, and put the pen in his hand. He faintly said, 
' I only wish to send my blessing.' He was very happy, and 
willing to die. After he had written a few words, he' was 
got into bed, and appeared better. I thought he might sur- 
vive a i'ew hours, and therefore took my leave of him, and 
told him T would return. He asked God to bless me, very 


loud. At my return I found he had just gone to glory, 
without a groan. I had spoken to him respecting you. I 
told him, I thought it well you had not been sent for, as you 
could have done him no good. He said he was perfectly sat- 
isfied; for, if you had suffered from the effects of the journey, 
he should have been very unhappy. He added, that he had 
no pain, and that one moment in eternity would compensate 
for all he had suffered here." 

On the same sheet of paper is the last benediction : " May 
the blessing of God, and a dying father's blessing, ever be 
upon you all, my children. I die full of hope, and happy. — 
John Clarke. 

God bless you all. Adam = Mary, 

William* = Mary, 

Tracy — all — all. Amen." 

Under this sacred record are to be seen the following lines : 
"These words my precious father wrote an hour and a halt" 
before he went to glory. — Adam Clarke." 

Mr. Clarke was deeply affected by this event. He ex- 
pressed himself " as if the bands of life were loosened from 
around him, and his mental and physical powers almost 
brought down together to the sides of the grave." He sent 
immediately for his widowed mother, who came and resided 
with hini till he left Bristol, when she went to live with her 
daughter, Mrs. Exley, who was then settled in that city. 
Mr. Clarke, senior, was buried in Ardwick churchyard, Man- 
chester. His tombstone, which is inscribed, " To John 
Clarke, M. A.," states that he died in the sixty-second 
year of his age. So rested this learned, honest, and labor- 
ious man from the toils and disappointments of mortality. 
Ever afterward his son Adam, passing that churchyard, 
either on foot or riding, uncovered hU head the whole length 

* His son-in-law, the Rev. Dr. Johnson. 

-'i'-i LIFE OF THE 

of the cemetery: a token of the reverence and love which all 
through life he cherished for his father's memory. 

This was not the only circumstance which threw a shadow 
over the present year. It was a time of universal gloom. 
The thunder-clouds of war darkened the political sky; com- 
mercial adversity shut up the warehouse of the merchant ; 
and want, approaching to famine itself, reigned in the cottage. 
"These," writes he, "are troublous times; and we need to 
Watch and pray always, that we may be accounted worthy to 
escape the things which are apparently coming upon us, 
and to stand before the Son of man." A member of his 
family, reverting to those days, observes : " This year, and 
the succeeding one, were marked by circumstances of un- 
usual scarcity. All ranks felt and acknowledged the distress 
as a judgment: the rich voluntarily ceased from a consump- 
tion of flour in the way of elegant indulgences; the middle 
classes found it difficult to support their families, through 
the scarceness of all provisions; and the poor sought from 
door to door a handful of food to save them from dying. 
Alas ! they could not always meet with even this, and num- 
bers of them perished from mere starvation. From the 
effects of this distress Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, and their infant 
family, suffered in common with others; but they concealed 
their necessities, in order not to draw upon the -sympathies 
of their friends, and frequently denied themselves a suffi- 
ciency of food, to save a part of each day's allotment of pro- 
visions to share with the wretched applicants who were in 
still greater need than themselves. Mr. Clarke would often talk 
to his little ones on the subject, and show them their starving 
fellow-creatures, who, in cold, nakedness, and famine, sought 
relief; and each would put by a bit of the breakfast or sup- 
per for the poor. At its distribution they were all present, 
and thus were taught to sec and feel the blessings which 
follow self-denial, in the happiness it yielded to others. Thus 


did he early train his little flock to feel for others, and to lovo 
them as their brethren." 

Dr. Clarke probably referred to this trying time, when, 
many years after, on a visit to Bristol, he casually met with 
an old time-piece, which had formerly to belonged to him. 
." That clock," said he, " I sold in this city, for the mere pur- 
pose of buying bread for my children." 

But, in the midst of these depressions, his mental activity 
never flagged. He had entered the arena of literary life, 
and was fast rising into notice as an author. To the works 
of Dr. Clarke we will devote an exclusive chapter farther on, 
and be content at present with observing that, after throw- 
ing off some occasional pieces in. the Arminian Magazine, 
(among which was a curious paper on Judicial Astrology, 
condensed, apparently, from Barclay's "Arg§nis,") he pub- 
lished in 1797 his " Dissertation on the Use and Abuse of 
Tobacco." These slight efforts were now followed up by a 
Translation of Sturm's " Reflections," and the advancement 
of a work in Bibliography, which afterwards appeared in the 
form of a Dictionary, which has long had a high place in the 
esteem of men of letters; together with two smaller pub- 
lications — an Account of the Polyglot Bibles, and a Catalogue 
Raisonne" of the principal Editious of the Greek Testament. 
To these latter works, which evince prodigious reading, 
scholarship, and indefatigable industry, we shall have occa- 
sion ere long to revert. .We name them here, to show in 
what incessant efforts he must have been filling up his mea- 
sured days. Nor should it be omitted, that all the while he 
was diligently engaged with the Commentary on the New 
Testament; of which he had now finished the Notes on the 
first two Gospels, and some other parts of the sacred volume. 
It is with Mr. Clarke as a preacher and pastor that the pre- 
sent stage of our recollections has to do. Let us hear him 
speak on these matters for himself: 

234 LIFE or THE 

" Last Sabbath I was at Kingswood. The thronging to- 
gether of the people was truly astonishing. The chapel was 
thronged, and the grave is not more silent than was that 
crowd of listening people. While preaching, I felt a strong 
persuasion that God would visit them. I told them so, and 
it had a good effect on all ; they heard for eternity, and I 
could not help joining in the prayer of one of them — ' God, 
save all, save all !' 

" I had a sore day last Sabbath fortnight. Rode twenty- 
four miles, gave tickets in three places, preached three 
times, and had not a morsel of either flesh, fish, or fowl, or 
good red herring, all day; neither wine nor strong drink; 
only about half-past twelve got a few potatoes, and as much 
as I pleased of bad small-beer." (He sometimes fared thus 
meagrely, from his inveterate dislike to bacon and pork. 
His brethren who had no such antipathies made a hearty 
dinner when our friend could eat only the potatoes.) " The 
work of God goes on nobly at Kingswood. There is a new 
place taken in, the worst in all the wood : it is caUed Cock 
Road. As the inhabitants were all sons of Belial, no person 
dared to go into the place for fear .of being knocked on the 
head. There are thirty of these miserable sinners now 
joined in class, and several of them have found peace with 
God. The devil has sustained a heavy loss in that quarter.!' 

Referring to this neighborhood afterward, he says : " The 
work still goes on gloriously at Cock Road. One man, the 
vilest of the vile, hearing that several of his companions were 
converted, and that they prayed publicly, said, ' So Tom 
prays, and Jack prays : what can they say ? I'll go and 
hear;' and away he went, and got to a prayer-meeting, where 
every soul seemed engaged with God but himself. At last 
the power of God seized upon the wretch's heart, and he 
exclaimed, ' One prays, and another prays — I'll pray;' and 
down he fell, and began in his way to cry to God for the sal- 


vation of his soul. This human fiend, who could scarcely 
utter a word without an oath, is now transformed into a saint, 
and is walking in all meekness and gentleness and upright- 
ness before God. What could effect this change but the 
almighty power of the grace of Christ ? 

'< We had a genuine love-feast yesterday at Kingswood. 
How little, how unutterably little, did all the partisans of 
infidelity and their opinions appear in the business of that 
day! We had some very affecting testimonies, and some 
uncommon ones. I began at first to take notes of them ; but 
Boon found that, if I continued them, I should lose the 
spirit and good of them to my own soul. A young man 
delivered a speech of at least twenty minutes in length con- 
cerning his conversion. He was a collier; it was impressive 
beyond description ; and so great was the whole, that to me 
the parts are uncollectible. Some very great ideas were 
produced by those plain unlettered men. One of them, 
recently brought to God, endeavored at first to get rid of his 
convictions ; but such was the agony of his soul, and such its 
continuance, that nature was exhausted. ' On awaking one 
morning,' he said, 'I felt ashamed to look at the daylight, 
mnch more to look at God. I roared for the disquietude of 
my soul. I called mightily for mercy. No answer. At 
last I tumbled me out of bed, and prayed with all my soul. 
I then drew out my three little children, told them to kneel 
down, and say their prayers for their father.' It is needless 
to add, that his own prayers, and those of his three little 
innocents to God, brought a speedy answer of peace to his 
spirit; in which salvation he continues to walk in a most 
exemplary way." 

Christian ! does not your heart melt at these recitals ? 
Let not the men of rituals and formulas tell us of the scan- 
dal of these transgressions of ecclesiastical routine. He who 
understands the true spirit .of the apostolic constitutions 

~<->6 LIFE OF THE 

knows that these proceedings both fulfil the purpose for 
which the apostles labored, and harmonize with every canon 
they ordained for the increase and stability of the Christian 

Intense study, writing eight or ten hours a day, and the 
full work of a Methodist preacher's life, had already made 
sad inroads on Mr. Clarke's health. Toward the close of his 
time in Bristol, he says : " I was once a young man both 
without and within ; but the outward young man is gone, 
though the inward still continues. I have only to say, that 
if my natural force be abated, my eye grown dim, and my 
hair gray, long before the ordinary time of life,* Satan can- 
not boast that these preternatural failures have taken place 
in his service, or were ever, either directly or indirectly, 
occasioned by it. Blessed be God I" 

A journey now and then served to withdraw his attention 
from study, and invigorate mind and body for further labor. 
Thus, in January, 1799, he goes to London. From some 
characteristic letters to Mrs. Clarke, written while on that 
visit, we set down a few sentences : " Yesterday merning I 
preached at City Road. Though the people had not got 
much notice, yet there was a large congregation. I preached 
on Rom. xv. 4-6. It was an uncommon subject, and I 
found considerable liberty. Almost all my old Mercuries 
were there, and I think most of the trustees. Many were 
ready to half eat me. I went thence to Mr. Bulmer's to 
dine with Mr. and Mrs. Snndius, Mr. and Mrs. Buttcrworth, 
and Mr. Edward. T then went to SpitalnVlds, and preached 
at three : here was a large congregation, and by the time I 
had done my strength was finished. I then went to see Mr. 
Johnson, thence to Mr. Fisher's, thence to Mr. Williams's, 
thence to W , where our dinner-party supped together 

* He was then about thirty-nine. 


with Mr and Mrs. Buttress. They departed at eleven, and 
I stayed all night. This morning, after breakfast, I set out 
again ; for Mr. Sundius had given me two guineas to give to 

the poor of my acquaintance. I gave both to , and it 

was a time of need, as they are much in debt for the neces- 
saries of life. I gave him also a guinea to pay for me at the 
Widows' Relief. Thence to Mr. Williams's. They are both 
very low, having lost both their children ; thence to Mr. 
Cressall's, thence to Mr. Reece's ; thence to the soup-house, 
where I got a very good- and highly-acceptable basin. I 
met with Mr. Bevan, who was very glad to see me, and took 
me to his house in Plough Court. He has got up the residue 
of the yearly epistles. I called in at Mr. Baynes's at one 
o'clock. They were going to dinner. I sat down and ate 
With them. I hope. to sup this evening at Mr. Middleton's. 
I have not'had'a quarter of a night's sleep since I left. To- 
morrow I serve at the soup-house." 

More than a year afterward, (March, 1801,) he takes 
another excursion into Cornwall. From the kind of episto- 
lary journal sent by several posts to Mrs. Clarke, on this 
excursion, we will also take a few passages : 

" My most excellent and beloved Mary : 

" We left Bristol about five minutes before six o'clock, and 
came on safely and slowly eighteen miles to a place called 
Cross, where we got breakfast at nine o'clock. I had some 
cold beef, and made a breakfast like an ancient Briton. We 
soon got under weigh ; in all, eight passengers. Through 
Bridgewater we came to Taunton, where a dinner was pro- 
vided of roast swine and boiled swine, with a miserable 
knuckle of veal. I asked for a bit of cold meat, and got 
some of a very miserable quality. They charged us each 
four shillings and ninepence. Once more off. The road 
most jolty, especially from Collumpton. Arrived at Exeter 


at a quarter to nine." Leaving the city in a chaise 
" through a bad road indeed, got to Crockerton a little after 
twelve. The good folks were gone to bed, and the landlady 
rose with her child of fourteen months old, which I lugged 
about while she lighted a fire and got us a comfortable 
supper. We again set off. Dark and rainy was the night ; 
but we got over a rugged hop-jump way to Okehampton at 
half-past three this morning. At half-past four proceeded, 
and, very much fatigued, got to Launceston at eight, where 
I now write. Thus God has conducted "Us in perfect safety 
to within sixteen miles of Camelford. Here we have just 
had breakfast, and are in expectation of horses, which Mr. 
Mabyn ordered to meet us. Well, now, you see that the 
Lord cares for your queer, odd, good-for-little husband. I 
dare say you have been praying for me. Pray on, Mary ! I 
have not taken this journey from any rambling disposition : 
I have felt reluctant to it, but think duty has compelled me, 
and I wait to see the issue. I shall not venture down into 
the west, as I am sure a month would not suffice to go to all 
the places I must visit, if I visited any one. Tell 

John here is a very beautiful ancient castle, which I will tell 
him all about when I return." 

"Camelford, March 13th, 1801. 
"After waiting a long time in a most uncomfortable inn 
at Launceston, we ordered a chaise to set forward to Camel- 
ford ; and, just as we were going to step into it, our horses 
came. Having fed them, we took the chaise for eleven 
miles, and made the servant follow us with his two ltozl- 
v antes. It was well we did; for we had a tempest all the 
way. When we came to the inn, T borrowed a large coat 
from the landlord, who is an acquaintance of Mr. Mabyn's, 
mounted my tit, and hobbled off for Camelford. After many 
stumbles and blunders I got safely to Mr. Mabyn's at three 


o'clock, where we found dinner waiting. In the journey 
from Launceston. to Camelford I passed by Tregear, once the 
residence of my old affectionate friend, T. Baron, Esq. He 
went 'safely to heaven some years ago; and his nephew, who 
was a young lad at school when I was formerly in these parts, 
became heir to his uncle's estates, and, if possible, more than 
supplied his place. He turned early to God. Married to a 
young lady like-minded, they enjoyed in their family all that 
earth can afford of felicity, and all that Satan could envy. 
God also lived in them, and they lived in God. Affliction is 
the lot of all. Death made an inroad in their little family 
by removing a beloved child ; and the same dart that pierced 
the child passed through the father's heart as well. He fol- 
lowed his child to the grave, and in five days went into it. 
The ways of God are in the great deep." 

" March 14th. — After dinner I went to Michaelstow, to 
see my old afflicted friend Miss Hocken, whom an unaccount- 
able nervous disorder has confined for thirty years mostly to 
her room. One of the finest and most sensible women in 
Cornwall. She was exceedingly glad to see me, and I spent 
more than an hour in profitable conversation with a woman 
who obliged me to leav.e the surface and go to the bottom of 
the different subjects we discussed. Tell John and Theo., 
that in this journey I observed several things which strongly 
indicated that the country hereabout has suffered much from 
sOme natural violence. I observed one place where a moun- 
tain seems to have been* rent in twain : the corresponding 
parte on either side are nearly half a mile from each other. 
There is a deep valley between them, at the bottom of which 
a river has found its readiest course. On my 

return, Rough Tor, the highest mountain in Cornwall, rose 
on my right hand. On its top two peaks, or, rather, large 
rocks. On the western point there is. I am informed, a very 
fine Druidic monument — an altar, with an immense stone 


poised on the top of 'another, and so equally balanced in the 
centre that a person e;in move it. Round about are large 
basins scooped out of the rock, which communicate by little 
conduits with each other, and which appear to have" been 
used for libations, or to receive the blood of the sacrifices. 
Last evening I had a pleasing visit from Mr. 
Pearse, the Duke of Bedford's steward, and several others. 
Mr. P., who is one of the excellent of the earth, I joined to- 
the society seventeen years ago. 

"March 16th. I am, thank God, as well as you could ex- 
pect me to be on Monday, after such a day's work. Yester- 
day morning I preached a long and (for me) good sermon on 
the purpose and design of the Lord's Supper ; after which 
I administered that sacred ordinance to the society. Many 
were in tears all the time ; and several, I believe, took the 
aacraiacntum, or military oath, to be the faithful followers of 
Christ for ever. As I had been speaking from half-past ten 
to nearly one, I felt great reluctance to preach again at two, 
especially as one of their own preachers was present; but 
they would take no denial; even Mr. Mabyn himself seemed 
to have no pity, and I was obliged to work once more. I see 
what would have been my fate had I gone to the west. I am 
afraid our people never imagine that speaking, as they call it, 
can hurt a man : but this also must be borne with. We had 
now a very lively meeting, with a multitude of elephantine 
aniens. By the evening the news had spread far and wide, 
and we had many from four to ten miles round, and I suppose 
at least two-thirds of the inhabitants of Camclford. All that 
the chapel could possibly hold came in, and the rest stood 
without, cold and uncomfortable as the night was. I worked 
nearly from six to eight. On my concluding, they struck up 
a prayer-meeting, and continued till nine, at which almost all 
that were in the house during the preaching continued. 
When I got home I was supremely wearied. 


" I am now preparing to set off for Port Isaac, about ten 
miles." (Here follow some antiquarian descriptions.) "I 
have had a pleasing interview with a young gentleman from 
India: he* reads Persian and Arabic with the true accent, 
and they come out of his mouth like oil. He is quite a man 
of science, and has joined the society here, and met yester- 
day in class the first time. I hope to reach Plymouth 
toward the end of this week, and spend the Lord's day there. 
The longer I stay away, the more earnestly I desire to return." 

These letters, of which there is quite a packet, abound' 
with picturesque descriptions of the country, and some curi- 
ous information on the archaeological remains in that part of 
Cornwall, the substance of which, with enlargements, the 
reader may find in the Doctor's Miscellaneous Works. He 
appears to have enriched the letters with these topics for the 
instruction of his children, who were now reaching the years 
When the mind begins to hunger after knowledge. Happy 
the young people who could value and improve the advantage 
of having a father who was able to nourish their minds, as 
well as their bodies, with food convenient for them ! 

Mr. Clarke returned to Bristol to fill up the remaining 
months of his period there in those duties which tended, by 
the Divine blessing, to the enlargement and upbuilding of 
the congregations of the circuit, both in town and country. 
Neither ho nor his colleagues were permitted to spend their 
strength for naught. Large multitudes were drawn, from 
week to week, to hear words whereby they might be saved. 
The impenitent were awakened and made thoughtful; the 
seeker found ;*the more advanced in the spiritual life were 
led farther heavenward ; and God in all things was glorified. 




By the Conference of 1801 Mr. Clarke was appointed for 
the second time to the Liverpool Circuit. A Methodist min- 
ister is called to suffer more than many other men, from the 
breaking up of that friendly intercourse with congenial 
minds which yields so much consolation to our life. In 
Bristol, during the last three years, old friendships had been 
more strongly confirmed, and new ones, both in the circles of 
religion and of literature, contracted, which contributed to 
render this new exodus the more inconvenient to his personal 
feelings. In the present case, however, he had the advantage 
of coming among a people who were not unknown to him ; 
by whom, indeed, for his work's sake in days that were past, 
he was welcomed now as a heartily-trusted friend, and by not 
a few of them revered as a messenger of the Lord. 

He entered on those renewed engagements with an intellect 
amplified by the studies and trials of the intervening years, 
and a heart more richly than ever replete with the graces 
which the Holy Spirit makes perfect in the faithful ; but 
with a physical constitution too greatly enfeebled by exhaus- 
tion to grapple with the obligations of the Methodist itinerancy. 
He was often now taken suddenly ill, so as to be in an instant 
deprived of sensation ; and on one occasion the seizure was 
so ominous that his friends anticipated the most distressing 


results. He staggered on, however, with his work, both in 
the study and the circuit, till in the following April he wag 
obliged to be taken to London for the best medical advice. 
It is then that he announces to Mrs. Clarke the very serious 
view which an eminent practitioner took of his case : "I went 
this morning with Mr. Butterworth to consult Mr. Pearson, 
who said, ' You must totally cease from all mental and bodily 
exertion, except such as you may take in cultivating a garden 
or riding on horseback. I know not whether your disease be 
not too far advanced to be cured. The ventricles of your 
heart are in a state of disease ; and if you do not totally and 
absolutely abstain from reading, writing, preaching, e|c, you 
will die speedily, and you will die suddenly. Did I not 
believe you to be in such a state of mind as not to be hurt at 
this declaration, I would have suppressed it; but, as matters 
are, I deem it my duty to be thus explicit, and assure you 
that if you do not wholly abstain for at least twelve months, 
you are a dead man !' Now, my dear Mary, you must not 
believe all this ; but we will talk the business over when I 
see you. If I find I cannot do my work, I will give it up. 
I will not feed myself to starve the Church of God. I will 
seek some other way of maintaining my wife and my children." 
With this alternative, he was compelled to give some remis- 
sion to his habitual efforts ; and with such good effect, that 
at the following Conference he was enabled to contemplate 
the resumption of labor as not altogether unwarrantable, 
though with some hesitation about the locality, as Mrs. 
Clarke's health was at that time in a precarious state. W'c 
have his views on both these subjects in a letter from the 
Bristol Conference in July, 1802 : 

'•My very dear Mary: 

" My frood brother ( libson's letter this morning has brought 
no small pain to my mind, and my anxious uncertainty at 


times is almost unbearable. Unless a more favorable account 
come soon, I must set off for Liverpool. Those shiverings 
continued alarm me to the extreme. 31 r. G. complains that 
few people call to see you ; but of this I am heartily glad. 
In staying away they will show more kindness than by coming 
to see you. I know not what to say or do in my appointment. 
If I thought Liverpool prejudicial to your health, I would 
have you removed immediately. For myself I feel no man- 
ner of anxiety : I cannot realize my own danger, if I am in 
any. It is hidden from me. God prepare me for the worst! 
My brethren think there is little or nothing the matter with 
me, and I am determined to take up my whole work, and 
perform it or die. This is my resolution, and from it I shall 
not move, God being my helper. Therefore I return to begin 
my work, as if I never' had felt a pang of distress. You 
know my resolutions are not yea and nay. But I must add 
that when, having tried my strength to the uttermost, I feel 
I cannot do the whole of my work, I will not starve the work 
of God to feed myself, but get some other employment by 
which I can support my family without burdening the cause 
of God." 

They who wait upon the Lord renew their vigor. So 
found this brave servant of Christ. He went in the strength 
of the Lord God, making mention of his righteousness;, and 
help came with every hour of duty. " The afflictions of 
this present" had the tendency to awaken him to more vivid 
perception of the things that are eternal; and the solemn re- 
view of life hitherto spent, and the ordeal to which, by the 
word of the Lord, he subjected the motives of his conduct, 
enabled him to thank God and take courage. " I came 
into the work," says he, "with the purest motives, and now, 
probably standing on the brink of eternity, can say, no 
motive or end which I cannot acknowledge before God has 


ever influenced me for an hour. Notwithstanding my 
ignorance, which none could feel so much as myself, I have 
gotten wonderfully through, and have had as much favor in 
the sight of God's people as was necessary for me to go on 
with some degree of success and comfort. The blessed God 
saw that he had sown a seed of uprightness in my soul, which 
the weeds of sinister design or by-ends had never been per- 
mitted to impede the growth of, much less to choke. He 
has. therefore, preserved and blessed me for his 6wn name's 
sake, and for the sake of that which, in eternal kindness, he 
had wrought and maintained in my heart." 
. As- a means of edification to several intelligent Christian 
friends, and of assistance in the pursuit of knowledge in its 
higher branches to young men of intellectual aspirations, 
Mr. Clarke formed in Liverpool this year a literary and 
scientific association, which took the title of a " Philological 
Society." This he regularly Organized ; and, among other 
helps to development, supplied it with a long series of Ques- 
tions and Theses for examination. Of these, T give a few as 
specimens: "No. 3. What is an essay? and are there any 
rules by which this species of composition should be re- 
gulated? 12. Which of the arts and sciences can be proved 
to be most useful to mankind ? 18. In what arts and 
sciences do the moderns excel the ancients ? and vice versa. 
9. Which is the most effectual way of disseminating useful 
knowledge among the lower ranks of society ? 22. What is 
the difference between the will and the affections ? and how 
may we distinguish the operations of the one from those of 
the other? 21. What is copsciencc ? 38. What is the dif- 
ference between heathen virtue and Christian morality ? 4* 
What is the best method of bringing up children, so as to 
preserve their health, promote their growth, and improve 
their understanding ? 23. What is the best method of treat- 
ing domestics ? 24. What is the best method of managing 


the thoughts? 28. What are those arguments for Divine 
revelation which, all Christians assert, have not been and 
can never he refuted ? What is an idea ? Genius ? Com- 
mon sense? Enthusiasm? Sympathy? A gentleman? 
To what causes can the diversity of dialects in a living lan- 
guage be attributed ? 159. Required, an essay on the anti- 
quity, genius, perfections, and utility of each of the following 
languages : Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin, French, 
Italian, German, and English ; with an account of the most 
classical and important philological works in each. 160. 
Required, a grammar of each of the above languages, that, 
in quantity of matter and simplicity of expression, shall be 
brought within the reach of the capacity of children. 161. 
Required, short, plain, comprehensive treatises on the ele- 
ments of arithmetic, geography, astronomy, geometry, etc. ; 
for the use of the rising generation, and especially adapted 
to the circumstances of the children of the poor. 171. 
Required, an essay on the superiority of the civil institutions 
of Moses to those of Menu, Solon, and Lycurgus. 146. 
Required, a short scriptural and rational essay on the Pro- 
vidence of God. 69. What further improvements are neces- 
sary in the government of parish workhouses ? 169. Re- 
quired, an essay -on the Pythagoric doctrine of numbers, and 
the uses to which the Pythagoreans and Platoriists applied 
the five regular solids, since termed Platonic bodies." On 
this last subject Mr. Clarke wrote a dissertation, which 
may be found in his Miscellaneous Works. It will be seen 
that these questions do not, all of them, come under the de- 
nomination of strict philology ; but the wide sense in which 
he used that term he indicates in an address to the society, 
where he observes, that " philology, in the modern accepta- 
tion of the word, is not so properly a science as an assem- 
blage of several. It includes grammar, criticism, etymology, 
the interpretation of ancient authors, poetry, rhetoric, 


history, and, antiquities : in a word, every thing relating to 
ancient manners, laws, religion, government, and language." 

The society met for conversation, discussion, and the con- 
sideration of written essays on the various themes of their 
studies. After some time, Mr. Clarke found he could state 
that the scheme worked well ; that interesting and excellent 
papers were produced ; and that good would he done to the 
minds and hearts of the members. 

As to himself, he was working hard at the Bibliogra- 
phical Dictionary, (the first volume of which he brought 
out at Liverpool,) and at the Notes upon the Holy Scrip- 
tures. In addition to these more weighty undertakings, 
he translated the Dissertation of Monsieur A. L. Millin on 
the Silver Disc which bears the name of "Scipio's Buck- 
ler." This was subsequently incorporated in his Miscel- 
laneous Works. 

Generations pass away, and the son follows the parent. 
As in his last circuit Mr. Clarke had been called to mourn 
the deeease of his father, so now another bereaving provi- 
dence overtook him in the removal of his only brother, who 
died at Maghull, in his forty-fifth year. A biographic notice 
of this beloved relative from the pen of Dr. Clarke states 
that, after having been brought up in childhood by his uncle, 
the clergyman after whom he was named, and instructed in 
the classics by his father, he was introduced to the medical 
profession, studying, after his apprenticeship, at Trinity, 
Dublin. He went out as surgeon in " a Guinea ship," and 
in two voyages became a witness of the complicated cruelty 
and villany of the African slave-trade, of which he has left 
in his journals some graphic details. " Filled with horror 
at this inhuman traffic, surgeon Clarke abandoned it after his 
second voyage : he married, and established himself at Mag- 
hull, eight miles from Liverpool" — in a wide neighborhood, 
at that time bat ill supplied with medical practitioners; 


where he had great success, winning the confidence of the 
people by his .skilful treatment, his personal urbanity, and 
Christian rectitude of life. But his professional labors mul- 
tiplied beyond his strength. At a time when in a delicate 
state of health, he was called out night after night in cold 
and tempestuous weather, till his remaining strength broke 
suddenly down, and he sank into a consumption. In his last 
days, he was consoled by the affectionate attentions of his 
brother, from whose holy counsels and earnest prayers he 
found most timely help in passing through the dark vale of 
death. In a pocket-book of Dr. Clarke's, there are the fol- 
lowing memoranda : 

" Sept. 6th, 1803. — I went to see my dying brother. He 
is in a very happy state of mind. 

" Sept. 15th. — Went to Maghull, and gave the sacrament 
to my dying brother. He is in great pain of body, but stead- 
fast in his confidence in the Lord. 

" Sept. 16th. — Preached at Aintree, from Isaiah liv. 13, 
14. My blessed brother died this evening at nine o'clock. 

"Sept. 17th. — I went over to see my dear brother's re- 
mains. Quantum mutatus ab Mo!" — Changed indeed. 
But from the sight would not the minister of Christ feel 
fresh motive to work while it was yet with himself called to- 
day, in making known to dying men the truth and grace of 
that adorable Redeemer who is our refuge, our resurrection, 
and our life ? 

After two years' residence at Liverpool, Mr. Clarke was 
reappointed to Manchester, where a multitude of Christians, 
who had long learned to value his ministry, gave him a 
most grateful welcome. The opening sermon at Oldham 
street was attended by a vast concourse ; and, from what he 
then saw and felt, he had confidence that God would be with 

Some few details came out in a letter to one of his Liver- 


pool friends, a little while after his re-settlement in Manches- 
ter I "I have a very good garret for my study : poets, you 
know, and poor authors, generally live in such places. I 
have had shelves put up for my books, and have most of 
them unpicked and carried up to this sublime region ; but 
it has been severe work, and has fatigued me sadly. The 
books and other things have been much injured in the car- 
riage : upwards of twenty of my boxes were broken, though 
they came by his Grace's flats," (the Duke of Bridgewater's 
canal-boats.) " I am now quite of poor Richard's mind, that 
three such Sittings would be equal to one burning. 

" I have heard Mr. Hearnshaw, the young preacher. He 
bids fair, I think, to make a luminous star in the Church of 
Christ. He has a very pleasing voice, a neat delivery, and 
yery decent language ; his matter is solid, and his doctrine 
sound. Mr. Jenkins you know ; the other is Mr. Pipe. He 
(Mr. P.) is full of life and zeal, and I should not wonder if 
he be esteemed the first man among us. I like a good shak- 
ing, and long hearty aniens among the people ; but, between 
you and me, there seems too much of it here, and many, I 
am afraid, do not distinguish between sense and sound — be 
tween the tornadoes of natural passion and the meltings of 
religious affection. But I must leave this with God, the only 
wise and good. May he keep us right !" 

In Manchester, as in other places. Mr. Clarke showed the 
value he set on class-meeting as a means of great help and 
encouragement in the Christian life, by entering himself as 
a private member in one of the classes. In Liverpool he had 
raised a class of his own ; but now, under the leadership of 
"a plain, simple-hearted, good man," Mr. Clarke found, as 
often as his duties would allow him to meet, that he could 
derive great profit, and reflect it again in his ministry, from 
communion with these lowly ones in the flock of the Lord. 

To the Strangers' Friend Society, which, with Mr. Brad- 


burn, he had been the means of establishing in the town, he 
turned his renewed attention, strengthening and extending 
its truly beneficent agencies. 

Steady also to his purpose in combining moral and intel- 
lectual culture, in making men strong in whatever is good, 
he opened his study on stated mornings in the week for 
young men who were desirous of instruction in the original 
languages of the Bible, and founded a society, like that 
already in operation in Liverpool, for the promotion of lite- 
rary, scientific, and Christian duties; "to bring forward," as 
he said, "and improve latent talent, and to prompt the few 
who were aiding and influencing each other to act upon the 
million." Many men who have lived not in vain received 
good impulses and helps in these intellectual fellowships; and 
among them we may name that eminent scholar, diligent 
author, and excellent minister of Christ, the late Dr. James 
Townley.* The success attending this institute was always 
a subject of great thankfulness to the founder; and we may 
here mention, that when the time came for him to leave Man- 
chester, the members offered him a token of their esteem, not 
only in a verbal tribute, but by the presentation of two mae- 
sive silver cups, beautifully ornamented with a border of oak- 
leaves round the outer rim, and bearing the inscription : " Ex 
dono Societatis PhilologtcjE Mancunienkis Rever- 
endo Adamo Clarke, Pr^esidi dieectissimo et dili- 
genti.ssimo, in amiciti^e gratique animi plurimi.s pro 
mkritis Testimonium." 

In his own literary career Mr. Clarke gave another token 
of great activity, in the publication of the remaining volumes 
of the Bibliographical Dictionary, (the preface of the sixth 
volume bearing date, "Manchester, July 1st, 1804;") and 

* Died in 1833 ; President of the Conference in 1S29 ; many yours 
one of the General Secretaries for the Methodist Missions. His 
antiquarian and bibliographical works have a permanent reputation. 


also a new and improved edition of Claude Fleury's " Man- 
ners of the Ancient Israelites," a work which found much 
acceptance with the public. 

As -in Bristol and Liverpool, so now in Manchester, the 
silence of the study was broken upon by the voice of the 
knell. Mr. and Mrs. Clarke had to sustain the affliction of 
seeing their beautiful little daughter Agnes fade and die 
like a flower. This child had become an object of intense 
affection to her father, and the stroke which bereaved him 
was so much the more afflictive. "Agnes," says he, "was a 
most interesting and promising child. Few of her years 
ever possessed a finer understanding or a more amiable dispo- 
sition. She was led to remember her Creator in the days of 
her youth; she truly feared God, and dreaded nothing so 
much as that by which he would be offended and his good 
Spirit grieved. Young as she was, it was evident that she 
possessed a pious heart. She loved prayer, attended public 
worship with delight, and had such a firmness and constancy 
of resolution that nothing could make her change a purpose 
which she had formed, when convinced that it was right. , 
God saw it best to take her ; and, having sowed in her heart 
the good seed of his kingdom, took her to heaven, where it 
should bring forth all its fruits in their native soil." 

Twenty years afterwards I find another reference, which 
shows how lasting was this love : " I had a daughter called 
Agnes : never was my soul so wrapped up in a child. God 
took her. I had suffered so much in her sufferings, 

that the good Dr. Agnew said, if she had lived one week 
longer it must have killed me. Agnes is still dear to me, 
though it is more than twenty years since I lost that lovely 

The circumstance that two of their children, Adam and 
Agnes, lay buried at Manchester, created a melancholy tie 
between the hearts of the parents and that place ; but, while 

252 life or THE 

nature dictated that mournful sympathy, faith, with its 
solemn assurances, strengthened in their souls a more elevated 
sense of union with the heavenly world, whither their beloved 
ones had gone before them, and where, henceforth exempt 
from death, the families of the saved are reunited in the full 
possession of the inheritance which is incorruptible and 
eternally their own. 

Having completed his term of service in the Manchester 
Circuit, Mr. Clarke, amid the regrets of multitudes, removed 
from that city to resume his labors in London, being once 
more appointed to the metropolis by* the Conference of 1805. 
As the superintendent of the circuit, he went into residence 
at the 31ethodist parsonage adjoining the chapel in City Road. 
Here, with the Rev. Messrs. Bogie, Entwisle, J. Stanley, and 
others for his colleagues, a wide sphere of engagements opened 
to him. London was still but one circuit; and since his last 
appointment the duties had become yet more numerous, by 
the establishment of various other preaching -places, the 
building of several new chapels, and the increase of pastoral 
duties consequent on the formation and increase of the 
societies connected with them. And if, at present, each of 
the superintendents of the nine circuits into which the 
metropolis is divided finds that the multifarious business of 
his charge demands an incessant care, we may easily conceive 
that Adam Clarke, as the sole superintendent of the Method- 
ist work in London, would be called to a life of almost sleep- 
less labor. Yet his strength was as his day. By redeeming 
the early hours of the morning, he carried on the studies 
which were yielding plenteous fruitage in his literary works; 
and by resolute diligence he made full proof of his ministry 
as a preacher and pastor, maintained the financial resources 
of the circuit in full vigor, and developed the various capa-> 
bilities of the Methodist system for the promotion of the 
spiritual and temporal comfort of the multitudes over whom, 


by the agency of Sunday-school teachers, prayer-leaders, class- 
leaders, visitors of the sick, tract-distributors, exhorters, and 
local preachers, it exerts its benefic influence. Yet more, in 
addition to all these calls upon his time and care, we find him 
taking a prominent position in some of the greatest philan- 
thropic movements of the age. Among these the British and 
Foreign Bible SoGiety, then recently formed, awoke a joyful 
enthusiasm in his soul, which expressed itself in services to 
that noble institution as lasting as his life. At the instance 
of Mr. Butterworth, who was one of its earliest members, he 
was invited to take part in its great work, upon which he 
entered, as we may say, con amove, with the relish of the 
scholar for the philologic criticism involved in the undertak- 
ing to send forth the Bible in the various languages of man 7 
kind, and with the faith of the Christian in the power of 
Divine truth, so conveyed, to renew the world in righteous- 
ness. Qf the ability and zeal with which he cooperated in 
this great design we shall have to give^some examples in the 
subsequent records. Suffice it here to observe, that from his 
extensive oriental learning, his acquaintance with the verbal 
criticism of the sacred text, and his sound judgment as a 
catholic theologian, the committee of the Bible Society found 
in Adam Clarke the man they wanted. Let the reader mark 
here what great consequences follow the decisions of our early 
life. When the friendless youth at Kingswood bought the 
Hebrew Grammar with the piece of coin found in the garden, 
the world itself was to be the better for the event. 

In his own library at City Koad, long before the broad 
mas6 of London life had begun to stir itself in a morning, 
Mr: Clarke was now diligently engaged in perfecting for the 
press the first parts of his Commentary, and in supplementing 
the six volumes of the Bibliographical Dictionary by two 
others, comprising a variety of topics connected with those 
studies, to which he gave the Jitje of •" The Bibliographic 


Miscellany." This work bears date "November 1st, 1806." 
Besides these, he lent powerful aid to the editor of the 
Eclectic Review, in some articles on the Septuagint, and the 
study of the eastern languages. 

At this time Mr. Clarke felt very strong convictions on 
the necessity of some effective measures for the training of 
men of piety and promise for the work of the ministry in the 
Methodist body ; which, with the continual increase of its 
members and influence in the country, partook as well the 
educational advantages by which the English intellect has 
been so greatly elevated in the present age. He saw that an 
illiterate ministry would be inadequate to the wants of the 
times ; and that, if the pulpits of Methodism were to attract 
the people, they must be filled by men who were, at least, on 
a par with their hearers in mental cultivation. With these 
impressions, he took an early opportunity of bringing the 
subject under the consideration of the preachers then sta- 
tioned in Londpn; and the result of their conversation he 
details to Mr. Butterworth : 

" We have now a subject of the deepest concern before us. 
We want some kind of seminary for educating workmen for 
the vineyard of the Lord. I introduced a conversation this 
morning upon the subject, and the preachers were unani- 
mously of opinion that some efforts should be made without 
delay to get such a place established either here or at Bristol, 
where young men who may be deemed fit for the work may 
have previous instruction in theology, in vital godliness, in 
practical religion, and in the rudiments of general know- 
ledge. No person to be permitted to go out into the work 
who is not known to be blameless in his conversation, 
thoroughly converted to God, alive' through the indwelling 
Spirit, and ^ound in the faith. Mr. Benson said he would 
unite his whole soul in it, if I would take the superinten- 
dence of it. What can we do. to set this matter on foot? 


The people are getting wiser on all sides : Socinianism, and 
other isms equally bad, are gaining strength and boldness. 
Every circuit cries out, ' Send us acceptable 
preachers ;' and we are obliged to take what oners, and 
depend upon the recommendation of those who can scarcely 
judge, but ftfom the apparent fervor of a man's spirit. My 
dear brother, the time is coming, and now is, when illiterate 
piety can do no more for the interest and permanency of the 
work of God than lettered irreligion did formerly. The 
Dissenters are going to establish a grammar-school, and have 
sent about to all our people, ae to their own, for countenance 
and support. Would not God have our charity in this 
respect to begin at home ? Are there not many of our peo- 
ple who would subscribe largely to such an institution? If 
we could raise enough for the first year for the instruction of 
only six or ten persons, would it not be a glorious thing ? 
Perhaps about twenty would be the utmost we should ever 
need to have at once under tuition, as this is the greatest 
average number we should take out in a year. Speak 
speedily to all our friends, and let us get a plan organized 
immediately : let us have something that we can lay, 
matured, before the Conference. God, I hope, is in the 
proposal ; and we should not promise our strength or influ- 
ence to others, till wc find either that we can do nothing for 
ourselves, or that nothing is requisite." 

This desirable project could not at that time be accom- 
plished. The Conference' was burdened with increasing 
pecuniary difficulties, and the resources of the Connection 
were not adequate to the task. At a later day, however, 
(1833,) the scheme was carried into full effect, to the great 
satisfaction of all enlightened and impartial men in the 
Methodist communion. A theological institution was 
founded, one branch of which is situated at Richmond, Sur- 
rey, and the other at Didsbury, near Manchester. Already, 


in those sequestered shades, hundreds of pious younc: men, 
called of God to the work of the gospel, have been soundly 
trained for the Christian ministry, of which they are making 
worthy proof in various parts of the world. The divinity 
tutors have hitherto been the Rev Professor Jackson, fur 
Richmond, and the Rev. Dr. Hannah, for Drdsbury. 




In these incessant engagements the year had passed away, 
and Mr. Clarke attended the annual assembly of the 
preachers at Leeds, A. D. 1806. On this memorable occa- 
sion, he was invested with the highest honor his brethren in 
the ministry could confer upon him, in being elected Presi- 
dent of the Conference. It will be most pleasant to read 
such notices of those days as we find in his own letters to 
Mrs. Clarke. 

One from Sheffield, on the way, acquaints us that his fel- 
low-travellers were twenty-two in number. " I was one of 
three on the box, with the coachman ; Messrs Bradford, 
Cole, and Goodwin were behind nic; Mr. and Mrs. Benson, 
inside From every quarter I find it is the 

unanimous design of the preachers to put me in the chair. 
Perhaps you will be surprised when I tell you that I am 
absolutely determined not to* go into it. This purpose I 
believe none can shake I have neither a state of mind nor 
nerves for such a work, and I would not take a handful of 
guineas to be obliged to preach the president's sermon. — Dr. 
Coke is here." 

" Leeds. July 25th. — We have got almost through our 
stationing work, and have much order and i^nod-will among 
us. When at Sheffield, I read over the Plan for 



the education of young preachers, before Mr. Holy and some 
other of the principal friends, who all highly approved of it. 
This day I got Mr. Moore to read it, from whom I expected 
considerable opposition ; but I was disappointed, by receiving 
from him the following note on the back, of the cover : 'A 
very admirable letter. It answers almost all my objections, 
or rather my fears. If we were such ministers as we should 
be, the pious who are well informed, and even learned, would 
be glad to join themselves to us.' He means that many 
pious, well-informed, and even learned men among our socie- 
ties, and who are local preachers, would be glad to become 
travelling preachers; but he contends that the preachers 
have no proper scriptural authority, [all this having been] 
already given up ; so that the most vulgar and illiterate in a 
leaders' or quarterly meeting can, by the number of heads, 
or show of hands, carry any point of discipline or doctrine 
against the preachers. This is certainly true, and is a sore 
and increasing evil."* 

" July 27th. — This morning, according to appointment, 1 
rode out to Armley, and preached at ten o'clock. The good 
people would have sent me back on horseback, but I excused 
myself, and walked home in company with Messrs. Bunting, 
Collier, and Button. Brother Garrett we left behind, to fol- 
low the blow. I have to preach this evening again at the 
new chapel. This will be sore work. Mr. Bradburn 
preached this morning on Old Methodism, and acquitted 

* In the dissensions which lately afflicted the Methodist body, some 
of the antagonists of the Conference intimated that, had Dr. Clarke 
lived, he would have approved of the attempts then made to deprive 
the ministers of the few remaining powers which are inherent in 
their office, and necessary to the discharge of their pastoral duty. 
How far these surmises were correct, may be learned from the Doc- 
tor's own words. 


himself, I hear, very well. How I shall get on, God knows ; 
but I am pledged, and cannot recede. 

" The people are coming in, I am informed, from twenty 
miles' distance and upwards. The following will show you, 
in some measure, their spirit and temper. A Quaker, airing 
himself in the street by his own house about si:: in the morn- 
ing, saw a plain-looking countryman covered with dust, car- 
rying a very large great-coat, and sweating at every pore. 
He accosted him : ' Friend, whither art thou come ? Thou 
appearest much fatigued.' ' I am cooming to th' Methodist 
Conference,' says Bluntspurs : ' I am coom forty mile, and 
ha' walked all t' night.' The Quaker, struck with his 
appearance and honest bluntness, said, ' Friend, I like thy 
spirit : thee seemest sincere and zealous in this way : turn in 
hither, and refresh thyself; thou shalt be welcome to what 
the place can afford.' Poor Gruff turned in, and found a 
hearty welcome. How valuable is this simplicity of .spirit ! 
and how much more happiness do these people enjoy, who 
are taking God at his word, than those who are disputing 
with their Maker himself every particle of his revelation ! 
Scaliger, who understood thirteen languages, seeing the com- 
parative happiness of the simple and ignorant, cried out at 
once ' O that I had never known my alphabet !' But it is 
probable that from these as many sources of comfort arc 
sealed up, as there are causos of distress to those whose 
minds are cultivated. I shall leave this till after preach- 

" I am now returned from preaching to some thousands ; 
thousands within, and hundreds without. To relieve the 
excessive press, a preacher was obliged to stand up without, 
while I wrought an hour and fifteen minutes within. At the 
last prayer we had an uncommon shaking, and some acts of 
solemn self-dedication tapk place, never, never, I hope, to bo 


"July 28th. — This morning our Conference began, and 
the whole time before breakfast was employed in filling up 
the Deed, etc. After breakfast, as I had heard from all 
quarters that they designed to put me in the chair, I ad- 
dressed the Conference, and, having told them what I had 
understood, proceeded to give reasons why I could not go 
into the chair, and begged that no brother would lose a vote 
for me, as my mind was fully made up on the business. 
This produced a conversation I little expected. All the 
old preachers insisted on it that I was at present the proper 
person, and entreated me not to refuse. I insisted upon it 
that I would not, and solemnly charged every one who in- 
tended to vote for me to give his suffrage to some other. I 
then wrote [mine] for Mr* Barber, and showed my paper to 
those about me, who all followed my example. I trembled 
till this business was concluded ; and what was the result ? 
I was chosen by a majority of one half beyond the highest! 
I was called to the chair in the name of the Conference, and 
refused, begging that the next in number of votes might 
take it. We were thrown into a temporary confusion, 
during which Mr. T. Taylor and J. Bradford lifted me up 
by mere force out of my seat, and set me upon the table! 
I was confounded and distressed beyond measure, and, 
against all my resolutions, was obliged to take the seat, 
After recovering from my embarrassment, I began business, 
and hare conducted it hitherto with order, and, I believe, 
much to the satisfaction of the brethren. Dr. Coke was 
chosen secretary, and between him and Mr. Benson there 
was a close run. We are now at the characters, and have 
got through seventy-nine circuits. There are two or three 
knotty cases in reference to charges of false doctrine, which 
will soon come before us. I do not see any sen- 
tence in 's book which is capable of bearing an evil 

construction. It is a poor milksop production, and the time 


and expense are thrown away upon it. is too high ; 

he has learned to bear no cross for Christ's sake : perhaps 
he may now be schooled a little in this necessary science. 
Pray, pray hard, for me. I am far from being 
eomfortable in my mind. The thought of having to preach 
next Lord's day before the Conference, and to admit those 
who have travelled four years, quite absorbs my spirits." 

" July 29th. — Having a few moments, (sitting on the 
Conference board, the preachers beginning to assemble,) I 
devote them to you. We have gone on well. When we 
came to the Wakefield Circuit, Mr. Marsden produced a 
letter from Mr. Pawson, containing his dying advice to the 
Conference. This was read, and a motion succeeded that it 
should be printed. . I have just now got the 

number of the preachers present : they amount to two hun- 
dred and three. I have long walks, and sleep, or rather 
watch, in a front room in the noisiest street in Leeds, in which 
there is scarcely a silent hour in the night. I have not had 
one night's re'st." 

"July 30th. — We have now got through all the cha- 
racters, except 's for Pelagianism, and 's for deny- 
ing the direct witness of the Spirit. Mr. has had the 

questions proposed to him which were sent to Mr. , and 

has ahswered all to the perfect satisfaction of the Conference 

Mr. , who was under the same accusation, has had the 

same questions put to him, and has not answered to their 
satisfaction. The brethren are so incensed 

against evasive answers on this subject, that every man has 

Argus eyes. The question which I sent to Mr. was 

my own j but to-day it has been adopted without variation, 
to be used as the test on which the Pelagian heretics should 
be tried. There is the utmost need to take heed to our 
doctrines. I write this while the rest of the 

2(52 LIFE' OF THE 

brethren are at their tea. I am nearly worn out with exces- 
sive exertions." 

"August 3d. — This morning I went to the new chajiel, 
where the Doctor" (Coke) " was to preach. Long before the 
time it was more than full. Many hundreds were standing 
in the street when I got up to it. However, I squeezed in ; 
and, as it was more than half an hour before the time, and 
the Doctor was not come, I got a Prayer-book, went into the 
desk, and began to read prayers. This quieted the people. 
As the press was great at the door and in the street, four 
preachers stood up in different parts, and began to preach. 
Tims, instead of one, we had five congregations. When we 
had finished the sacrament [of the Lord's Supper, which 
was administered] to perhaps eight hundred people, we could 
scarcely get out, for the afternoon congregation was waiting 
to get in. I came home, and, having got a morsel of dinner, 
am come to scribe you a few lines, and to look for a text for 
this evening. A sore work lieth before me, and how I am to 
get through it I knon not. I will leave this unconcluded till 
I return. 

" I have just returned. An amazing congregation ; thou- 
sands, without and within. There was reason to fear some 
lives would be lost, the press was so great. I got on mid- 
dlingly. Nearly all the preachers [were present.] I am 
now weary enough, and my cold still bad. — There is no 
morning that I am not in the chapel (though nearly a mile 
from my lodging) before five o'clock. What is the use of 
lying in bed? I cannot sleep; my eyes are like those of a 
ferret. I know not when I shall be able to sleep again. 
It is said that thdre are upwards of twenty thou- 
sand strangers come into town.' It is like a county-town in 
the time of election. The inns and private houses are over- 
flowed, and the streets everywhere full." 


"August 6th. — This has been a day of very great fatigue. 
I have been a good part of the afternoon examining the 
young men. I had each doctrine to define and explain. 
Though it almost totally exhausted me, I got through with 
precision. . . I have in about half an hour to go 

and admit them all, in the presence of an immense congre- 
gation, crowds of which were rushing into the chapel before 
I left the Conference board. We are still in great har ; 
niony. I have nearly as much authority as I could wish ; 
and, when I choose to exert it, all I .can desire. The 
brethren behave exceedingly well. I let them feel only that 
power with which they have invested me, and they properly 
respect it. 

" Finding the chapel already full, a half an hour before 
the time, I immediately began." He then describes the 
ordination service, as practiced at that time among the Me- 
thodists, and adds : " I then addressed them in a short 
speech, and pronounced the formal words of reception, in the 
name of God, whose mercy and love they were to proclaim ; 
of Jesus Christ, whose atonement they were to witness; 
of the Holy Ghost, by whose influence they had been thus 
far fitted for the ministry, and by whose unction they 
were to alarm, convince, convert, and in holiness build up 
the souls of men : also, in the name of the Methodist Con- 
ference, by whose authority I acted ; and in the name of 
the many thousands which constitute the Church connected 
with them. Mr. Moore then prayed, and I pronounced the 

"August 7th. — [As to the station for next year*] I am re- 
turned for London ; and may now give up, as at the highest 
pitch of honor Methodism can bestow upon me : president 
of the Conference, superintendent of London, and chairman 
of the London District, all at the same time. 
The Lord knows I never sought it. Well, I would rather 


have one smile from my Maker than all this honor, and all 
the world could confer beside. 

" I own I should feel home very waste if you were not there 
to receive me when I come ; and yet I wish you by all means 
to go and see your mother. If I possibly can, after resting 
a few days at home, I shall rejoice to accompany you and Mr. 
Butterworth to Trowbridge." 

, The duties of the president, including extensive journeys 
in Scotland and Ireland, incessant correspondence, and a 
formidable amount of Connectional business, render it neces- 
sary that an additional preacher be stationed with him, as a 
helper in the ordinary labors of the circuit. Among the 
young men who appeared at the Leeds Conference for ordi- 
nation was the Rev. David M'Nicoll, who preached at one of 
the services, and whose discourse gave the president such an 
idea of his capacity and character, as to determine his 
choice of an assistant for the coming year. " I have heard 
Mr. M'Nicoll," says he, in a letter to Mrs. Clarke, " this 
morning at five. He is a wonderful fellow. Though a 
Scotchman, he has excellent language, and such a flow of 
words as you have seldom heard. He will infallibly bear 
the bell in London. Your husband can, I believe, dig much 
deeper; but he certainly cannot fly so high." And again, 
speaking of the men received into full connection : " David 
M'Nicoll, who is coming to London, was one of them ; and 
in a very neat, lively, and elegant manner, he testified of the 
hope that was in him." Nor was the president disappointed 
in this high £stimate. Mr. M'Nicoll gave early indications 
of a genius which, cultivated in after-years by a most exten- 
sive acquaintance with the best literature in the English 
language, made him one of the first preachers of the day. 
The blandness of his natural disposition, his vivid yet well- 
governed imagination, his fascinating musical talent, his 
wealth of information, and the artless simplicity of his man- 


ners, rendered him one of the most amiable companions; 
while the moral virtues of his heart and life, and the power 
which attended his pulpit-ministrations, commanded homage 
as well as affection.* 

After the exertions of the Conference, Mr. Clarke availed 
himself of a few days' relaxation, making one of a family- 
party in a tour into Wiltshire. In a series of well-written 
letters to his son Theodoret, he describes the most remarka- 
ble scenes and objects which attracted their attention. Mr. 
Butterworth, who was chief mover in the affair, had provided 
two carriages ; and they set out for Devizes, from thence over 
Salisbury Plain, where the sight of shepherds with their 
flocks and dogs gave him huge delight. They visited Stone- 
henge, and then Wilton House, the seat of the Earl of Pem- 
broke, with itarare collections of coins and antique sculptures, 
and, without, its romantic vistas, temples, groves, and gar- 
dens; a spot which altogether won, as he says, his warm 
attachment. "We returned," he writes, "to our inn, and 
partook of a most comfortable dinner. We were all as 
hungry as Greenland bears. I have seldom needed a meal 
so much, and have not been often more thankful to God for 
one." On the road to Wilton, they passed by the church 
where, as he says, "that blessed man of God, Mr. Herbert, 
(the poet,) formerly preached. It is entirely surrounded 
with very fine tall yew-trees, and the mere sight of the place 
impressed my mind with solemnity and reverence." 

The- next place was Wardour Castle, the seat of the Earl 
of Arundel. The paintings here riveted his attention ; one 

* After a splendid ministerial career, Mr. M'N'icoll died suddenly 
at Liverpool, in 1886. A noble tribute to the virtues of his intel- 
lectual and Christian character has been given in a Discourse 
preached and published on the occasion by his friend and colleague. 
the Rev. Dr. James Dixon. His Works, with a biography, have been 
edited by his son, Dr. M'Nicoll. 


of them especially, "The Saviour after Death," hy Spagno- 
letto. "He (the Saviour)- is represented as just taken down 
from the cross ; the countenance indescribably expressive of 
death, and yet highly dignified ; fully verifying the words, 
' No man taketh my life from me :' ' I give my life for the 
sheep :' for, though he groaned and gave up the ghost, after 
he had cried with a loud voice, yet it could not be said of him, 

Vitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras. 

No ; you could see that he was ' free from the dead :' free — 
at liberty to resume his life whenever he pleased, as he had 
given it up according to his own good pleasure. 

"The family chapel is one of the most solemn little build- 
ings I ever saw. It is laid out in the Romish taste; two 
lamps perpetually burning before the altar, on which is placed 
a costly crucifix. Through a window of stained glass a suffi- 
cient measure of light makes every object visible enough, in 
conjunction with the lamps; indeed, the mixture of these 
two lights produces a sort of illumination which partakes at 
once of the cheerfulness of day and the solemnity of night. 
He who can enter a place dedicated to the worship 
of God as he does into his own habitation or that of his 
horses, has (in my opinion) no proper notion of religious 
worship, and is never likely to derive much edification from 
his attendance on the ordinances of God. Another 

thing impressed us : the number of religious books which we 
saw in every apartment ; such as the History of the People 
of God, the Imitation of Christ, etc. ; and all these books 
seemed as if they were in frequent use." 

In the progress of their tour they came to the village of 
Amesbury. "It is situated among the hills in a chalky soil, 
and is neat, dry, and clean; there is one inn, the George, 
which, much to our satisfaction, afforded us a tolerable supper 
ami beds. Almost our first inquiry was, 'Are there any reli- 


gious people here?'" The waiter, who was "an intelligent 
man," directed them to some whom he considered such, and 
to one, as the leader of the rest, a baker, named Edwards. 
"Determined to find this ecclesiastical baker, we sallied out. 
It was a fine moonlight evening. I rapped at his door, and 
asked to see Mr. Edwards. He came, and invited us in. 
We entered, and told him we were strangers in the country, 
and that, on inquiring whether there were any religious 
people in the village, we had been directed to him. As soon 
as we sat down, I asked him to what class of religious people 
he belonged. He replied, ' To Mr. Wesley's people/ " After 
some conversation, "we were so pleased with the worthy 
couple, that we invited them to sup with us at our inn, where 
we spent a comfortable hour together." The Sabbath was 
spent by the tourists in Bradford, where Mr. Clarke preached 
in the morning to a large and deeply attentive congregation. 
Some of the old people had heard him before, when he came 
to their circuit in his novitiate. 

Refreshed and strengthened in mind and body by this 
pleasant excursion, Mr. Clarke resumed his duties in London 
with renewed vigor. "In labors" he was "more abundant," 
and his influence became greater every day. We read that 
"to him that hath shall be given;" and the subject of our 
memoir, in being faithful to the talents confided to him, 
became more and more enriched with those heavenly gifts 
which rendered him in the pulpit an apostle indeed ; in the 
study, an instructor, not of the ignorant only, but of the 
learned too; and in life, "an example of the believers, in 
word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 
Not. only in his own communion was he regarded with affec- 
tionate reverence and homage, but in the Church at large ; 
and among- the highest literary circles his character had 
began to be known and admired. Some of the most dis- 
tinguished men of the day, as Roscoe, Porson, Lord Teign- 


mouth, Charles Butler, and Morrison of China, found plea- 
sure and profit in his conversation and correspondence. A 
sermon on some public occasion would gather round his 
pulpit one of the most choice congregations in London ; and 
a new work from his pen was welcomed with thankful respect 
by the good and by the great. Of this universal sentiment 
of esteem the senate of the University of Aberdeen only 
gave a suitable expression when they conferred upon him, in 
January, 1807, the diploma of Master of Arts ; and, thirteen 
months afterwards, created him Doctor of Civil and Canon 
Law. These honors had been already merited ; but the uni- 
versity knew that the man who was now invested with them 
gave pledges of yet greater things, which would more abund- 
antly vindicate their judgment of him, and contribute to the 
honor of the learned body who had enrolled him among their 

One of the verifications of these prognostics made its ap- 
pearance in the following September, in the "Concise View 
of Sacred Literature," a work in which the learned author 
gives an analytical account of the great masterpieces of reli- 
gious teaching,, from the earliest times down to the middle of 
the fourth century, with the intention of resuming and com- 
pleting the course in a subsequent volume ; a purpose which, 
in process of time, was carried out with ability by his son, 
the Rev. J. B. B. Clarke. A treatise on the Christian 
Eucharist, and an edition of Harmer's Observations on the 
Scriptures, were also at this time in progress ; but Dr. Clarke s 
main efforts turned on the great labor of his literary life, his 
own Commentary on the Bible. 

At the Liverpool Conference in 1807, Dr. Clarke was 
thankful to surrender the presidential seal into the hands of 
the Rev. John Barber, his successor in office, and to receive 
from his brethren the cordial expression of their approval of 
the spirit and manner in which he had fulfilled his duties. 


Anxious to promote the temporal as well as the spiritual 
interests of his fathers and brethren in the ministry, he in- 
troduced to the attention of the Conference at this session a 
measure which he had closely meditated, and the adoption of 
which- would, as he conceived, be the means of affording sub- 
stantial consolation to many of the preachers who in future 
years should be found in age and decay without the means 
of temporal support. The plan, indeed, was not adopted ; 
but it has a record here, to illustrate the large and liberal 
thoughts of him who devised it. We will give the paper as 
it proceeded from his own pen : 


" Taking into consideration the very desolate state of the 
superannuated preachers and widows in the Methodist Con- 
nection, and well knowing that the provision made by the 
Preachers' Annuitant Society must in every case fall very far 
short of even providing them with the necessaries of life, it 
is proposed — 

" 1 . That an asylum or college be erected with as much 
speed as possible for the reception of superannuated 
preachers, and the widows of those who have died in our 
Lord's work. 

" 2. That the asylum be erected in the vicinity of some 
large town, in a healthy situation, where the necessaries of 
life may be found cheap. 

" 3. That the asylum consist of houses, each con- 
taining a sitting-room, two lodging-rooms, a study, a small 

kitchen, and a garden, feet long, and the breadth of the 


" 4. That the building enclose a large square of 

* "In the name of God. the Moat Merciful, the Most Compas- 
sionate 1" 


feet; and that a commodious chapel, for the use of the 
institution and the vicinity, be built in the centre or one end 
of the square. 

"5. That the place itself be taken in by the travelling 
preachers, as one of the regular places of the circuit where 
it is situated ; and that all the residents in the asylum shall 
meet regularly in class, and be subject to all the rules, regu- 
lations, etc., common to the Methodist societies. 

" 6. That no person shall be entitled to a place in this col- 
lege who has not been a regular travelling preacher for the 
space of twenty years, and who has not been declared super- 
annuated by the Conference merely on account of such 
bodily infirmities as render it impossible for him to continue 
in his work. 

" 7 That no widow be admitted who has not been the wife 
of a travelling preacher for at least twenty years, or has not 
travelled with her husband during that time, or has not 
maintained an unblemished character. 

" 8. That if any of the widows re-marry with one of the 
superannuated preachers, she shall go to the apartments of 
her husband ; but should she marry with a person who is 
not a resident in the asylum, she shall leave it. 

" 9. That each family have the house free of rent and 
taxes, and a certain sum be allowed annually for coals and 

" 10. That the superannuated preachers and widows resi- 
dent in the asylum have the whole of the annuity which they 
can legally claim from the preachers' fund, independent of 
all the privileges and advantages arising from their residence. 

"11. That no preacher or widow be obliged to enter this 
institution, or be entitled to its privileges, not being resident 
in it, unless there be no room for any proper claimant, and 
the funds be in such a state as to enable the managers to 
grant a certain portion of help to such persons. 


" 12.. That the principal friends throughout the Connec- 
tion be solicited for subscriptions to purchase freehold 
premises, on which to erect the necessary buildings." 

■This programme was supplemented with the following 
postscript : " The preceding plan was laid before the Confer- 
ence by Brother Clarke ; and he was required by the Con- 
ference to write an address to the members and friends of 
the societies, accompanied with the plan, soliciting subscrip- 
tions for the above laudable purpose; and the Conference 
order that the address and plan be printed in the Minutes 
and Magazine. J. Barber, President. 

T. Coke, Secretary." 

At this "Conference Dr. Clarke was appointed, in conjunc- 
tion with Dr. Coke and Mr. Benson, to draw up a compend 
of Methodist doctrines, confirmed by Scripture, and illus- 
trated from the writings of Mr. Wesley. This was accord- 
ingly compiled, and a copy sent to the chairman of every 
district for the consideration of the preachers. 

As the time drew on when, according to the usages of 
Methodism, Dr. Clarke would have to leave the metropolis, 
the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society 
expressed their sense of the value of his services to that 
great institution by an official request to the Conference, that 
the general custom might in his case be pretermitted. To 
this unusual application,* so honorable to each of the parties, 
the Conference, from an earnest desire to promote the 
interests of the Bible Society, gave their full consent. In 
the course of the year Dr. Clarke removed from City Road, 
and took up his residence at the Surrey Institution, to the 
librarianship of which he had allowed himself to be 
nominated under the circumstances disclosed in the following 


extract from a correspondence on the subject with Mr. But- 
terworth : 

" Whether I propose myself for librarian to the Surrey 
Institution, or permit another to do so, is nearly the same 
thing. It is a fixed principle with mo never to be a candi- 
date for a public office, either in Church or State ; and from 
this I have never swerved. My heart is in every literary 
institution : I believe they are all ordered in the Divine Pro- 
vidence. Perhaps, I am as well qualified, in many respects, 
for the office, as I am for any of those I now fill. I must 
continue in London another year." In short, he left the 
matter with the authorities of the Institution, and they 
elected him. 

Invested with the office, he confronted its duties with his 
usual decision. " Mark," says he, " I have all the books in 
both libraries to provide : I have to travel from shop to shop, 
to examine books, to compare prices before I purchase: I 
have lectures, and the plan of lectures, and even their matr 
ter, to arrange : I have to construct the whole machine, and 
to give it proper momentum and direction ; to be incessant in 
labor, and to employ all my bibliographical and philosophical 
knowledge in those things; and, as I have taken them in 
hand, I shall do them, if God spare my life." 

Among the smaller pieces which Dr. Clarke published at 
this time, was a memoir of the last hours of that distin- 
guished scholar, Professor Porson; a notice which details 
some literary conversations which the writer had with the 
illustrious Grecian, on some points relating to the archaeology 
of his favorite language. Another biographical sketch was 
written for the Wesleyan Magazine. It refers to a man as 
eminent for the sanctity of his life as the subject of the for- 
mer memoir was remarkable for his attainments in Greek 
scholarship — the Rev. John Pawson. This little piece will 


be always read with refreshment and edification by those 
who know any thing of the .power of religion in the soul. It 
presents a graphic portraiture of " a man of irreproachable 
integrity, of unspotted life, and of very extensive usefulness. 
As he honored God with his body, soul, and substance, so 
God honored him by giving him the highest affection and 
confidence of his Church and people; with an unction and 
baptism of the Holy Ghost ; and with such a victory and 
triumph over sin, death, and the grave, as would have been 
glorious even in the apostolic times." 

The labors of Dr. Clarke in the field of English history, 
in accomplishing the redaction of a great portion of Eyiner's 
Foedera, will claim a more particular review in another chap- 
ter. I only refer to the subject here to notice a transaction 
in which he was engaged about this time, in the purchase of 
the diplomatic and private papers of Sir Andrew Mitchell, 
English ambassador to the court of Berlin during the seven 
years' war. It was judged that documents which imme- 
diately related to a period so eventful should not be allowed 
to perish; and Dr. Clarke was requested to negotiate for 
their purchase, on behalf of the trustees of the Cottonian 
Library at the British Museum. He obtained the papers 
for £400 ; and, on his delivering them personally at the 
Museum, they were sealed up for thirty years, (according to 
the usual agreement in such cases,) to obviate injurious 
results to private or public parties who might be involved in 
the secrets of the transactions recorded in them. I may add 
here, from the family memorandum, that at the termination 
of this business Sir William Forbes, at whose instance it had 
been undertaken, inquired of a friend of the Doctor, what 
compensation he should make to him for his trouble ; but he 
was assured by that friend (Robert Eden Scott, Esq.) that 
Dr. Clarke would, be found above receiving remuneration for 
acts of that kind. Sir William therefore contented himself 


with presenting to the Doctor a copy of the Nova Reperta 
Inscriptionum Antiquarum, with a record on the fly-leaf 
expressive of the donor's regard. 

The same characteristic of disinterestedness shows itself in 
the manner in which he fulfilled the duties of librarian at the 
Surrey Institution. Finding that they were really incompa- 
tible with the momentous undertakings, ministerial and lite- ' 
rary, in which his whole existence should be absorbed, -he, 
at the end of ten months' service, relinquished the situation, 
and refused to receive the salary. The council of the Insti- 
tution attested their admiration of his important and gene- 
rous services, by installing him as permanent honorary 
librarian to the Society. Dr. Clarke now removed his resi- 
dence to Harpur street, Bloomsbury. 

In the department of biblical literature, in addition to 
some extensive engagements on behalf of the Bible Society, 
he took a zealous part in the measures adopted by the late 
Rev. Josiah Pratt, B. D., for a new edition of the London 
Polyglot. At the request of Lord Teignmouth, Dr. Burgess, 
Bishop of St. David's,* and some other friends of this under- 
taking, he furnished a specimen-sheet in royal folio, and an- 
other in octavo. This, under the title of "A Plan and Speci- 

* "I had on Monday between two and three hours' conversation 
with Lord Teignmouth and the Bishop of St. David's. It was indeed 
very interesting, and the bishop was mightily pleased ; so was Lord 
Teignmouth. The bishop is to lay the project before the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, the Bishop of Durham, and the Bishop of Salisbury. 
Lord Teignmouth is to lay it before Lord Granville, Earl Spencer, 
and several others. Never did a project seem to have a fairer pros- 
pect. Mr. Pratt and I were deputed to draw up a short account, 
with a specimen, and get it printed. We have it already at the press. 
There is little doubt of our having his Majesty as patron, and the 
weightiest part of the bench of bishops, and the lords temporal." — 
Letter to Mrs. Clarke, May, 1810. 


men of Biblia Polyglotta Britannica; or, an enlarged and 
improved edition of the London Polyglot Bible, with Castel's 
Heptaglot Lexicon," was printed and circulated among the 
literati at home and abroad. But this noble and much-needed 
enterprise came to nothing'for want of adequate patronage. 
A copy of the prospectus may be found in the British Mu- 

But the time had now come in which Dr. Clarke's long 
preparatory labors enabled him to present to the world the 
first part of his own edition of the English Bible, with the 
Commentary which has given him a lasting name among the 
great biblical teachers of the Church. In the early part of 
the year, he put forth a prospectus of the work, which ex- 
cited general attention, and not the less on account of a con- 
troversial paper from the Rev. Thomas Scott, (himself one 
of the most valuable of the English annotators on the Bible,) 
who, in " The Christian Observer," impugned the statement 
that Dr. Clarke had made in the prospectus, that the Septu- 
agint was the version to which our Lord and his apostles had 
constant recourse; and from which they made all their quota- 
tions. The animadversions of this respected clergyman were 
answered by Dr. Clarke, through the medium of the same 
journal, in a paper which has been reprinted in his Miscel- 
laneous Works. In the month of July following, the first 
portion of the Commentary made its appearance, and was soon 
in the hands not only of the reading people in the Doctor's 
own religious communion, (among whom it received an en- 
thusiastic welcome,) but of a multitude of the eminent and 
pious in every branch of the Christian Church. 

All this while the Methodist preacher was not merged and 
lost in the man of letters, and the companion of peers and 
prelates. In this respect, Dr. Clarke was evermore the same 
man : he dwelt among his own people, and with heart and 
hand labored with his brethren for the promotion of the cause 


of Chrjst in- the conversion of sinners, and the edification of 
the Church redeemed by his precious blood ; in the advance- 
ment of which both he and they found their peace, and 
glory, and joy. We have, indeed, but few documents relat- 
ing to his circuit-work at this period ; but here and there in 
a letter we catch a glimpse of his manner of life. " I was 
up this morning about four, and fagged till about a quarter 
past five, and then had to walk to City Road to attend the 
meeting at six." So far were the interests of Methodism 
from being slighted by Dr. Clarke, they were advanced by 
the steps of his own progress. His pulpit-ministry was now 
in its effulgent meridian, and the growing influence of his 
name attracted many to the chapels in the metropolis who 
might otherwise have been strangers to them all their days. 

So, wherever he went, in his occasional journeys, crowds 
assembled round the pulpit where he was to preach even a 
passing sermon. Thus at St. Austel, in a tour which he took 
into the west in the autumn : " Short as the notice was, we 
had the chapel quite full, and several of the principal gentry 
made part of the congregation. I preached on Ephes. iii. 
13, etc. ; and, though very weak and quite fagged out, spoke 
an hour and twenty minutes. I met here many of my old 
friends, but the greater number are dead. 

" We got to Camelford late in the evening, and were fol- 
lowed by some of the principal of our St. Austel friends, 
among whom are Mrs. Flamank and Mr. S. Drew. Many 
more were to set off to-day, to be present at the preachiDg 
to-morrow; but the incessant ram must render it impracti- 
cable. The floods wash the sides of the room where I am 
now writing, and are so high in the streets that the [com- 
munication between] the upper and lower parts of the town 
is cut off. I am to preaoh here twice to-morrow, and on 
Monday morning to leave for Launceston, Exeter, etc. Should 
I stay here any longer, I should have invitations from every 


part of Cornwall. If eating arid drinking could make us 
happy, it would be enjoyed here in perfection : the finest 
salmon in the world for sixpence per pound ; whitings, .seve- 
ral pounds' weight, for twopence each ; large rabbits a shilling 
a couple ; and so of other things. Here a man may maintain 
a large family with a small income. Will you come, and let 
ypur poor husband get out of that world to live in which he 
was never calculated? I corrected a revise this morning, 
and sent off by post. There are a few memoranda in it 
directed to Theo. I do not get much sleep at night, and this 
does not agree with me. I am seldom contented when from 
home, which prevents me from getting much benefit when 
abroad. The man lives ill at home who rejoices to go abroad, 
and returns to his family with reluctance. So it never was 
with me. I have been obliged to get the shoes, soled by Mr. 

before I came away, re-soled. The soles put on by him 

were not worth twopence." 

We are not fastidious enough to reject these little details. 
The critic well says, that " biography is useless which is not 
true to life. Even the weaknesses of character must be pre- 
served, however insignificant or humbling. The jest-book 
of Tacitus, the medicated drinks of Bacon, the preparatory 
violin of Bourdaloue ; and the fancy -lighting damsons of 
Dryden, have their place and value. They are the errata of 
genius, and clear up the text. A French mathematician had 
doubts about the animal wants of Newton, and«was disposed 
to regard him as an intellectual being in whom the mind's 
flame had absorbed each grosser particle. It is certainly a 
precipitous fall from dividing a ray of light, or writing 
Comus, to weariness and dinner. But biography admonishes 
pride, when it displays Salmasius shivering under the eyes 
of his wife, or bids us stand at the door of Milton's academy 
and hear the work of the ferule up stairs. It steals on the 
poet and the premier in their undress — Cowley, in dressing- 


gown and slippers ; Cecil, with his treasurer's robe on the 
chair" — and, as we may add, on Adam Clarke, looking rtie- 
fully on the unstable foundation of his shoes. 

" Camelford. — I have finished my Sunday's work. Preached 
this morning, and gave the sacrament. Mr. Drew preached 
in the afternoon, and I again at night. I assure you those 
were high times. The day was very fine, and the people 
flocked together from all quarters. At the evening's service, 
Mr. Butterworth and Mr. Johnson were so affected that they 
were almost on the eve of making a glorious noise ; and the 
latter was just going to break out in prayer when prevented 
by the blessing being pronounced. This visit has done many 
great good. It is strange, but the chief members, in almost 
all the societies round about, were convinced and brought to 
God under my ministry. Our whole journey has 

been one of mercy. God has especially owned the word: 
many have been blessed. We had a crowd about us when 
we set off, and yesterday was a high day indeed." 




A few months later, we find Dr. Clarke performing an ex 
tensive tour in Ireland, whither he had gone on some re 
searches relative to the State Record Commission, with which 
he had now been intrusted by the Government, and to meet 
the Irish preachers at their annual Conference. His letters 
homeward detail some particulars of this expedition, which 
give us his revived impressions of years now receding into 
the immeasurable past. 

" Holyhead, May 30th. — I wrote to you from Shrewsbury, 
my very dear Mary, on Tuesday. Having slept there, we set 
off between five and six in the morning, and after travelling 
through the wildest, most uncultivated and unoultivatable 
country I ever saw — vast mountains, sudden and tremendous 
precipices, huge overhanging rocks, rivers tumbling over the 
mountains; a country which exhibits all the disruptions 
which nature could have suflered by every sort of violence — 
we got safe, eighty-five miles on the whole, a little 
before ten, to Bangor Ferry. A good supper, and went to 
bed; slept till just before five; crossed the ferry; breakfasted 
at the house where you and I and John had the bottle of fine 
cider twenty-two years ago, and then reached Holyhead. 
The very sight of some of the precipices would have drunk 
up your soul." 


"Dublin, 31st.— Having got a little breakfast, I set out to 
deliver my credentials to Mr. Mason, the secretary. Did not 
find him at home. Met him on returning, and appointed to 
meet him within two hours. Went to visit the preachers, 
and none of them at home. N. B.— The old breakfasting-out 
system still lasts. I entered the house where we had suffered 
so many calamities, not without strong emotions. The school 
is now held in the parlor, on the right as you go in. I then 

called on Mr. , and found him embalming his already 

demi-mummized body with nicotian fumes. Called to see 
John Jones and his wife. Mad with joy to see me. Then 
to Mr. and Mrs. P Then to H. street, to see my cousin 
Boyd. They have a fine tall daughter, whom they call Eve. 
The father's name, you know, is Adam. He knows the gene- 
alogy of our family most nobly, and tells me he can trace it 
up through seventeen Irish kings. Now, go to : could you 
have thought you were allied to one who can trace the pure 
current of his blood through seventeen monarchs ? I hope 
you will now begin to think much of yourself. — Leaving 
them, proceeded to the secretary's, and examined with him 
different MS. indexes. He showed me uncommon kindness, 
and furnished me with letters to Trinity College. I posted 
thither, and met Dr. Bairett coming down his own stairs and 
going into the hall on an examination. He has appointed to 
meet me to-morrow at eleven. Returned to my lodging com- 
pletely wearied, having walked over Dublin from one end to 
the other. Tell John to see that nothing exceptionable 

in the natural history of the Defence of the Nachash be per- 
mitted to pass."* 

When journeying in the provinces, Dr. Clarke was careful 
to avail himself of opportunities for preaching the gospel. 
Thus, at Charlemont : " Sunday morning. — The people throng- 

* Probably referring to a paper Written for the Classical Journal, 
in reply to a critique on his theory of the Nachash in Gen. iii. 1. 

ItEV ADAM CLARK. 3, LL.D. 281 

ing together from all quarters, it was found impracticable to 
preach in the chapel. W,e sent therefore to the commander 
of the fart to permit us the use of one of the yards. He 
readily acceded, and came himself and several of his men. 
It was a very stormy morning, and I was obliged to stand 
exposed to the wind and rain. We had a very gqod time, 
and as soon as finished- 1 drove off for Dungannon. Here 
the crowd was great, and we had scarcely hope to stow them 
into the chapel, which is by far the largest I have seen since 
we left Dublin. As I now felt a touch of sore-throat, I dared 
not venture into the open air a second time. We got to the 
chapel. Greatly crowded. Numbers' without. Great grace 
rested upon all. Many of our old friends followed from 
Armagh and Charlemont, and others came from twenty miles 

From Magherafelt he writes : " We proceeded from Dun- 
gannon to Cookstown, where I had been published to preach 
in the Dissenting meeting-house. When I got 

to the place could hardly articulate, owing to the severe cold 
caught on Sunday morning. There was no remedy. Into 
the pulpit. It was supposed that three thousand were present, 
from far and near and wide, I went in, found I could not 
preach, and gave it over as a lost case. I, however, thought 
of saying a few words by way of exhortation. The people 
were as still as death. I spoke for forty-five minutes, and 
with much freedom. All the principal people were there, 
and several of the clergy. Yesterday we came to this place. 
It is astonishing to think of the concourse of people. Wo 
have no ohapel here. Got the Presbyterian meeting-house, 
and preached with glorious power, I believe, to every relative 
I have in the kingdom. They had heard of my coming, and 
to the sixth or eighth generation were gathered together. I 
am now just setting off for Maghera." 

In another letter: "From Castle- Dawson I proceeded 


toward Maghera, and stopped to view the piace where I had 
spent the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth years of my check- 
ered life. Half the house in which we lived, oire of the 
best in that country, is pulled down. I walked 

through the grounds where I had laughed and cried, sought 
birds' nests, looked for fairies' haunts, made good resolutions, 
and spent the most happy (and, perhaps, the most innocent) 
period of my life. Though I had left that place when about 
eight years of age, yet I remembered every hill and every • 
hedge, where my brother and I used to see the fairies' noc- 
turnal fires. The orchard, from which I had eaten often of 
the choicest fruit, no longer exists. Zion is ploughed like a 
field. The emotions to which these scenes now gave birth 
cannot be described. They connect the long in- 

terval between four years of age and "fifty. To 

the poor woman I gave three tenpenny pieces, who received 
them as from heaven, and, addressing the child, said, 'See, 
my dear, God has sent you a new coat by this gentleman j 
and may the blessing of God rest upon him and his family 
for ever !' We soon got to Maghera ; looking 

over which before dinner, went to the quondam dwelling of 
Dr. Bernard, the Bishop of Limerick, celebrated in Boswell. 
This is also in a state of ruin ; nothing like its former self, 
except the great beech tree. Left the place with reflections 
not the most pleasant. 

" Next morning I set out to visit the Grove, and to look 
for my old dwelling, and the school-house in the wood ; but 
could get no farther than the Grove." 

From Coleraine : " Our preaching-house being too small in 
Derry, I was furnished with the court-house, a large and 
elegant building, and in it. preached on the Lord's day to 
crowded congregations. Yesterday I went out to Ballyaher- 
ton, where we formerly resided ; and when I came to the old 
habitation I surveyed it with reverence. A poor woman was 


standing at the door. I said, ' Will you permit me to walk 
into your house V She said, ' 0, sir, it is not a proper place 
for such a gentleman as you to enter.' I answered, ' I have 
Jwd the privilege of living in it for several years.' 
I gave the children each a tenpenny piece." Per- 

ambulating the neighborhood, " I came to a place called Port- 
Stuart, where I had often held religious meetings. None 
knew me. But, after I had discovered myself to one, the 
news ran, and the people came in every direction about 

"Returned to Coleraine, where I had to preach. 
Was not a little surprised to see Captain O'Neil's and Mr. 
Crombie's chariot-sociable and all their family, who came to 
hear preaching, the first of the Methodist kind they had ever 
heard. Preached, thank God, a glorious sermon, 

two hours. Everybody to hear; almost all, if not all, the 
gentry of the town, and some others from five or six miles 
distant. This day we went to the Giants' Causeway." 
It fell short of my expectation. — The pain of which I com- 
plained at home has continued with little intermission." 

From Antrim, on the longest day : " Yesterday left Cole- 
raine for Ballymena, a journey of twenty-two miles. Thirty- 
two years ago I walked this same road to a love-feast. Only 
one woman remains of those who were in society at that 
time. . On my arrival to-day, as our own chapel 

was utterly insufficient, the Rev. Mr. Rabbington, the rector, 
kindly offered me the use of his church, which, on the tolling 
of the bell, was soon filled with a great concourse, to whom 
I found considerable liberty in showing what were the doc- 
trines of the apostles, from Aots ii. 42. To-day we left for 
Antrim ; and here we should have had another church, but 
the rector happened to be away, and. our people had not 
applied in time. Preached in the Presbyterian chapel." 

On the way to Antrim Dr. Clarke visited the Moravian 


settlement of Grace Hill. They pressed him to give them 
an address in the chapel. " We entered," he says, " and I 
was surprised to find a large congregation. I desired the 
minister to give out .one of his own hymns. He did so^ 
and they all accompanied the organ in good full chorus. 
The hymn gave me excellent scope to speak on for half- an 
hour." They sang- a parting hymn, and he commended 
them to God in prayer. The settlement contained at that 
time four hundred members. He preached again the same 
evening in Antrim, " a good deal to my hurt, as, my mental 
energy being greatly exhausted, I was obliged to exert the 
greater physical force ; and this to me is ever unpleasant and 

Sunday, June 23d. — He preached twice in Belfast. 
Immense crowds. His voice failed in the evening; and 
again at Lisburn next day. On the Wednesday at Lurgan, 
out of doors, " as nothing but a field would contain the thou- 
sands that gathered together. The day following it was 
agreed that I should rest : I go therefore to dine with Mr. 
Hamilton, and to-morrow preach at Portadown." 

From the latter place he writes : " Well, I am now re- 
turned from preaching to the. largest congregation I ever 
addressed. I had almost all the town and all the country; 
peasantry, gentry, magistrates, preachers, and clergy. The 
grass does not cover the field more thickly than the people. 
I found both strength and mind for the work, 
and trust God will not permit the word to have been spoken 
in vain." 

In the same way the Doctor preached at JDrogheda, making 
five times in the open air within the last eight days of the 
tour. On the 2d of July he arrived in Dublin. 

" Mr. Butterworth and Joseph are well : they are both 
greatly improved by their journey ; and I am conscious that 
I am "much the worse every way. My clothes are worn out, 


and are not fit to appear in, even in the meanest congrega- 
tion. I have had nothing but fatigue and suffering all the 
time. My love to everybody." 

The Conference which now opened, and at which Dr. 
Clarke had come to preside, consisted of about a hundred 
preachers from all parts of Ireland. " I assure you they 
are all equal, man for man, with the English preachers. 
They are all walking with a clear sense of their acceptance 
with God ; which is of infinite moment, not only to their own 
salvation, but to the prosperity of the work of God. 

" Yesterday I went to dine with the Rev. Dr. . 

Several of the clergy were present, and a number of genteel 
persons of both sexes The house was elegant, and the 
entertainment splendid. But what we were brought to- 
gether for, unless merely to eat, I am to this hour at a loss 
to divine. No topic of conversation was started, and no per- 
son seemed to notice another. Whether this is to be attri- 
buted to self-sufficient confidence, or to a fear of each other, 
I do not pretend to say; but the repast ended, as it began, 
in comparative silence; and then I took French leave, heartily 
sorry I had lost so much time, or had, probably, been tho 
means of preventing the company from enjoying theirs. 
This day I dined at Major Sirr's, at the Castle ; where, had 
I not been confined for time, I should have spent a pleasant 
and profitable evening." 

The Conference ended on the 17th, leaving Dr. Clarke 
greatly exhausted. Toward the close of his stay in Dublin, 
he accompanied Mr. Uutterworth on a visit to the College 
oPMaynooth, where they were "very politely reoeived by 
Father De la Hogue, on# of the professors. It costs our 
government £9000 per annum. Mr. Knox is tho treasurer. 
Students, three hundred. I saw nothing very remarkable. 
Their library is a poor one, and their chapel not elegant. 
The only thing I saw worth observation was the following, 


written in large letters above the fire-place in the kitchen : 
'Be clean, Have taste, Don't want, Don't waste.' When 
coming away, I offered my hand to Father De la Hogne ; but 
he declined receiving it. He had received us with the 
utmost politeness. I was a heretic, and therefore he would 
not give me the right hand of fellowship. His politeness 
and courtesy were, therefore, put on. What an execrable 
system, which cramps and freezes all the charities of human 

" I must now begin to do something for the Records the 
remaining part of this week." — This latter employment now 
occupied him closely. "I am still driving from office to 
office, till nearly off my feet. If it would do me 

any good, I have honor here in great abundance. People 
whom I have never known, both among the clergy and 
nobility, call on me and leave their cards. Invitations to 
the city, to the suburbs, to the country, are without end. 
Last Sunday evening, when I preached at the new chapel, 
the street was filled with chariots, coaches, berlins, and 
jaunting-cars; and I had lords, ladies, knights, doctors, 
clergy, laity, in full score. I wish you had been with me. 
I have been obliged to go to the barracks and dine with 
the officers, who behaved with the utmost politeness and re- 

On Dr. Clarke's return to England, he had to encounter 
the grief occasioned by the decease of his mother. Her 
health had been for some time rapidly declining. He had 
Been her at Bristol on his way to Ireland, and had found her 
in the full possession of her faculties, calmly waiting for her 
translation to the eternal mansions. On the subject of the 
coming change she spoke with a devout serenity ; and, on 

* Of this tour in Ireland I have given the above notices from the 
Doctor's manuscript letters. 


parting with her son, she commended him with earnest 
prayer to the blessing of God. Yet, in the course of his 
ministerial tour, the Doctor seems to have expected still 
onoe again to visit this beloved parent. Her decease, how- 
ever, transpired so closely on the eve of his return, that no 
news of it had reached him on the way " But," says her 
granddaughter, " from the constrained manner and tearful 
eyes which but too eloquently replied to the almost first in- 
terrogation upon entering his house, 'Is all well?' the 
truth could not be concealed : upon which his countenance 
instantly grew pale, his lips quivered, he spoke not, but in the 
silence of the heart's agony, with upraised eyes and heaving 
chest, he retired to his study." 

" The heart knoweth its own bitterness." We envy not 
the man who is not bowed down at the death of the mother 
who bare him, the guide of his youth, the moralist of his 
heart, and the encourager of every good feeling and worthy 
action; and such had been Mrs. Clarke to him who now 
mourned her departure. Her image was ever dear to his 
memory, and her earliest lessons had shaped the character 
and conduct of his life. Yet must his sorrow have been not 
without thankfulness for the grace shown both to himself ami 
her, in sanctifying and saving them together ; not without the 
full assurance of hope that they should alike have their per- 
fect consummation and bliss in the everlasting kingdom of 
Him who had redeemed them. 

The Rev. Thomas Roberts, the friend and neighbor of 
the departed matron, wrote to Dr. Clarke, on the occasion, 
a letter of condolence, in which ho appropriately says : 
" You are justified in entertaining the best feelings when 
you reflect that good Mrs. Clarke was your mother. She 
lived just so long, and died so well, as to leave in the heart 
of her son nothing but acquiescence in the Divine will, 
and gratitude for that gracious dispensation of Heaven 


which could not have been manifested in a manner more conso- 
latory to the feelings of the man, the son, and the Christian." 
Dr. Clarke was speedily summoned from the indulgence 
of lonesome grief, to resume those life - absorbing efforts 
which Providence had ordained as the task of his existence, 
and in the fulfilment of which his own preparation for the 
rest that remaineth unto the people of God could be best 
carried on. In the stated work of the pulpit, in advancing 
the Commentary, and in discharging the duties resulting 
from his engagement with the Record Commission, the weeks 
and months passed rapidly away. These avocations called 
him to Cambridge, to Oxford, and again to Ireland. Con- 
nected with his sojourn at Cambridge in December, he makes 
a memorandum on the formation of a Bible Society in that 
town : " Lord Hardwicke," says he, " was in the chair, sup- 
ported by Lord Francis Osborne, the Dean of Carlisle, and 
several of the professors. The meeting lasted from eleven 
till four o'clock; and such speeches I never heard. Mr. 
Owen exceeded his former self; Mr. Dealtry spoke like an 
angel ; and Dr. E. D. Clarke, the traveller, like a seraph. 
Every thing was carried, and the meeting ended in a blaze 
of celestial light. Every man seemed to swear that he 
would carry the Bible to all who never knew it, so far as the 
providence of God should permit him to go. For myself, I 
did not laugh and cry alternately ; I did both together, and 
completely wet my pocket-handkerchief with tears. Between 
two and three hundred young men of the University were the 
first movers in this business." In the following April he 
visited Cambridge again, and was hospitably entertained at 
Corpus Christi College. During this sojourn he had several 
hopeful conversations with some of the junior gownsmen, who 
greatly pleased him " by their disposition and manners." 
One of these, the Rev. Thomas Galland, M. A., became a dis- 
tinguished ornament to the Methodist ministry. 




In June Dr. Clarke resumed his travels in Ireland. " Left 
London," writes he, "at six A. M., in the Liverpool coach, 
having under my care a young lady, Miss O'Connor, a perfect 
stranger to me, but whom I was requested to protect to Dub- 
lin. I soon found that she was a Roman Catholic, but of an 
amiable disposition, and, in her own way, conscientiously re- 
ligious. At the place of our last changing between Prescot 
and Warrington, Mr. Xuttall, Mr. Fisher, and their man and 
carriage, were waiting, and took me and my little ward to 
their place, called Nut drove, where they were distractingly 
glad to see me. On our journey, I observed that my ward 
had' a French work, called Journal du Chretien, (the Chris- 
tian's Diary,) in which there is a prayer, and what is called 
'an act of devotion,' for the morning and evening of each 
day. Poor little thing, though she had no place of retire- 
ment to do these devotions, yet «uch is her fear of God, that 
she could not neglect them; and therefore, at the proper 
time, both morning and evening, she took out. her book, and 
read her little devotions. I rejoiced to show her that a hero- 
tic, so called, loves the same God.'' 

"June 11th. — I preached in Liverpool to an immense 
crowd. I understand a Roman Catholic lady, who had long 
been seeking rest for her soul, came to the preaching. She 


was deeply convinced that the foundation of her hope must 
be alone in the death and merits of Christ. Her heart ap- 
peared as if broken under the word, and God showed her the 
way of salvation by faith through the blood of the cross." 
The Doctor preached again on the 14th, at Brunswick Chapel, 
" on the providence and mercy of God ; who wrought for his 
own name, and I have reason to believe much good was done. 
We had a bad night at sea : one mast was split, and the wind 
was against us. Through mercy, we reached Dublin in 

"A gentleman at the Custom - House, seeing 'Dr. Clarke' 
on different boxes, (for it was on all Miss O'Connor's,) came 
out into the mob that surrounded us, and inquired for Dr. 
Clarke. I answered. He took me into the Custom-Hpuse, 
instantly passed all the boxes, would, take no money, saw us 
both into a jingle, and told the fellow to beware he took no 
more than his fare, which was six shillings and sixpence; 
and so we got safely to Mr. Keene's." 

Dr. Clarke's health was again distressingly impaired. He 
suffered so much that existence seemed at times a martyrdom. 
Through the grace given to him, his will bore up with an in- 
domitable energy, and carried him through the labors of the 
pulpit, or preaching in the open air, the presidency of the 
Conference, and the researches of the State Record business, 
while many a man in like affliction would have been at home 
in his bed. 

"We this day commence our operations on the Lodge 
Manuscripts, and I shall open my way with the chancellor of 
Christ Church, perhaps call on Dr. Barrett and others. Ma- 
jor Sirr's family fully expected me to lodge there; but our 
people and the preachers have taken fire at the proposal. I 
found here an affectionate letter from Mr. AverelL who is 
waiting to convey me to Cork, etc. But such a journey is 
now utterly out of my power. Another letter was in waiting 


from Mr. Maync, of Drogheda, an extract from which will 
not displease you : ' Dear Doctor, — Our people anxiously de- 
■ire to see you ; and the public at large, to hear you once 
more. Pray do visit us. The last time you were here, God 
gave a Roman Catholic to your ministry. He is thoroughly 
steady, and his wife has since died in the Lord Jesus. Come, 
therefore: who knows but God may give you another?' I 
know what both you and Mr. Butterworth will say; and, 
please God, I shall obey you. There I shall go, God willing 
— I think, Wednesday — preach to them on Thursday, and 
return on Friday, if this horrible seizure" (of affliction) 
".will give me so much respite. But it so thoroughly im- 
bitters every comfort, that I cannot rejoice in any thing with- 
out trembling. For eight days I have swallowed nothing, 
cold or hot, solid or fluid, without great, often extreme, pain. 
I am in constant pain, and often in agony indescribable." 

"June 22d. — When in Liverpool, I preached two sermons; 
and it appears that God has owned them in a signal manner. 
They have produced a universal stir. A Roman Catholio 
lady was thoroughly converted under the first : she has since 
joined Miss Titherington's class, and given a wonderful tes- 
timony. The trustees waited on me formally to thank me 
for my visit, and to request that I would come to them next 
year. — Yesterday preached at Wesley Chapel, and at White- 
friars' Street. High fever, and utmost exhaustion. Cough 
most oppressive tn-day." 

"June 20th. — I am just thift minute returned from Drog- 
heda. Mr. Tobias, Mr. F., and John, accompunicd me. 
Yesterday morning they entertained" us with a public break- 
fast : you know I not only do not like, but detest, such meet- 
ings. However, as it was done to honor me, I endeavored to 
receive it in good part, and gave them a sort of sermon for 
about half an hour. [The interval to the evening was spent, 
;n an excursion to the scene of the battle of the Boync, and 


some other remarkable spots.] I went into all th 

hovels in this most miserable village, (Munsterboyce,) wher 
3Ir. Butterworth's bounty enabled me to leave a handful o: 
silver last year. I found them in the same or worse misery 
and, trusting in God, I opened my stock, and according fc 
their different necessities divided with them, at least, as mucl 
as last year. I got a torrent of most hearty prayeri 

for .me and mine. I*was not a little tried when I found ] 
must preach in the new market-place in the open air. 
The hour came, and I went to the spot. There were about i 
thousand people : many Catholics, and among them two oi 
three priests. There were also two clergymen. "What good 
may have been done, I know not. If God have glory, mj 
labor is not in vain." 

"July 1st. — We began our Stationing Committee' this 
morning, and have just got through forty circuits. To- 
morrow will finish that part of the work ; and on Friday we 
enter on the regular work of the Conference." 

The business of the Stationing Committee brought more 
vividly before Dr. Clarke's mind his own approaching change 
of circuit; a subject which, in his peculiar circumstances, 
excited some uneasiness. It is on this point that he here 
adds : " Now, my dear Mary, with respect to going to Liver- 
pool : I am far from being happy in London. I feel uncom- 
fortable in Harpur street. I am maintained by the society, 
and they have no adequate work for their money., I do not 
think I am acting with justice, to take the maintenance of a 
preacher, while not doing one-half of his work. Added to 
this, it is a -considerable expense to Mr. B. to make up taxes 
and deficiencies. You know I am not partial to 

Liverpool ; yet here there seems to be an open door. Not 
only the Catholic lady was converted when I preached there 
on my way hither, but also a deist. Perhaps by others, more 
accustomed to see God's hand in these matters, these wodd 


be tsoasidered tokenfc'for good, and particular calls. What 
can I do ? My own mind leads me to give up at once, be- 
cause I cannot do the full work; and neither my judgment 
nor oonscienco will allow me to eat bread in this way, which 
I have not earned. Indeed, the business is come to a crisis 
with me. In my present way I shall go on no longer. I 
have suffered greatly in my mind last year on this account ; 
and shall I commence another in the same circumstances '! 
My day of digging is over ; and, as to begging, I never could 
do it. But I may still earn a little bread, though, from all 
appearances, not long. But that I must leave. I feel I am 
too much in the bustle of life, and to this there is no con- 
geniality in my nature. My heart and soul have long said, 
' O that I had in the wilderness the lodging-place of a way- 
faring man !' But I am brought on the eve of Conference 
without plan, arrangement, or prospect of being put in cir- 
cumstances where my mind can be at ease My 
cough and- oppression still continue unabated, and I am not 
able to take as much sleep as is necessary to support 

We transcribe these sentences, however reluctantly, to 
s"h,ow the honorable feelings of the writer, and to make them 
serve to explain some of the after-inoveiiients of his life. 
But, while we read them, let us bear in mind that he who 
was giving way to morbid self-accusations was all tho 
white one of the most hard-working men anion^ all his con- 
temporaries' in the Lord's vineyard. Let us hear him in the 
next letter : 

"July . r )th. — From six in the morning till four, in the 
Conference. Before I go in the morning, writing till within 
the few minutes it takes to trot to the chapel. As soon as I 
come home, up with the pen, and continue every minute till 
I go to bed, except the very short time I take to i^et a little 
food. T do not «et half sleep. I have preached this morn- 


ing at seven, at Gravel-rwalk. Before I went, hard at work. 
The congregation was vast, and the place very hot. Spent 
myself; but, as soon as I came home, to work again, and 
continued till half-past one. Then to Whitefr.iars', to preach 
to an immense congregation. Worked two hours. Home, 
and, except about half an hour for dinner, at the writing 
again ; and now it is about eight o'clock, P. M., when I sit 
down to write to you. I received yours with the proof, and 
have hurried much to correct it. This morning I received 
a letter from the Speaker and Mr. Cayley, inquiring when I 
shall return, and requesting me to come to- the Tower, and 
see what they are doing there for me ; requesting me also to 
go to Oxford, and collate a copy of the Boldon-Book, in the 
Bodleian Library. One day only is allowed me in the Tower 
before I go to Oxford. I must go straight to London, apd 
then to Oxon even before Conference. The above orders are 
made out to me in the form of respectful requests. You 
know I must either go on or stop. I am in a continual 
fever, and my breast gets no time to heal ; the oppression and 
cough are grievous. Is there any such a fool as I am alive? 
My life is incessant labor and anxiety." 

What follows shows a heart full of sympathy for the trials 
of his afflicted brethren : " Yesterday poor John Grace, one 
of our best preachers, was buried. He had set out for Con- 
ference, was taken ill on the road, and died at Mountrath. 
The circumstances of this case "are 'distressing and horrible. 
Before leaving his circuit, he had an inflammation in his 
chest; riding increased it. When he came to a friend's 
house at Mountrath, perceiving him to be very ill, they sent 

for a doctor named . This rascal ordered him to drink 

cold water, and pronounced aloud in the family that his dis- 
order was a dangerous, malignant, and highly-infections 
fever." The people of the house took the alarm, and re- 
quested that he might be removed. No one would take him 


in. Poor Henry Deery, his colleague, ran away into the 
town, and found an empty house, got a bed, etc., into it ; and, 
just as they were going to hurry the dying messenger of 
Christ into it, the whole neighborhood rose, having heard 
of the vile quack's decision, and absolutely refused to let him 
be brought there. The family where he lay were in the 
utmost distress, the doctor insisting that, to preserve theui 
from the iafection, he must be removed within an hour. 
Poor Deery was at his- wits' end. A waste shattered build- 
ing contiguous to the house was pitched on as the only 
asylum. Deery went and got bundles of straw, and stopped 
up the hreaches and crevices in the walls. Poor John 
Grace was then rolled up in the bed-clothes ; the bed was 
got into this place, and he was lifted over a wall, to be 
stretched on that from which he never more removed. , • 
He called out for some cold water. It was brought ; and, 
having drunk it, he said, ' I shall soon drink of that river, 
the streams of which make glad the city of (Jod.' There 
was just time enough to send for his poor wife, who got to 
the wretched hovel in time to close the eyes of her husband, 
the father of her five children. Such was the end of John 
Grace, after having spent twenty-five years in the public 
ministry of the word. O God, how unsearchable arc thy 
ways !" 

"July 11th. — I am never happy from home and even 
journeys of pleasure to me are, journeys of pain. Company 
I do not love, no matter of what description ; and I 
scarcely can ever find freedom in places where even good 
cheer, good-breeding, good sense, and religion itself pre- 
dominate " (A strange man, according to his own view of 
himself,' just then.) "To many places of this kind I am 
invited in this city : great crowds of the best of the people 
are gathered together to do me honor. I wonder that such 
invitations arc repeated, as I often sit like a person speech- 


less, or one in whose mouth there are no reproofs. Those 
who are strangers to me must have, in every sense, a mean 
opinion of me; for, though I hope I in general conduct my- 
self according to the rules of good-breeding, yet I cannot be 
polite — t. e., pay compliments without rhyme or reason. I 
cannot be a pleasing companion to those who may think 
themselves entitled to this kind of entertainment ; and, as I 
rarely speak in public company, I consequently neither please 
nor instruct by my conversation. In short, I never 
made for the world." 

It may have been true enough that the Doctor, in common 
with many other eminent scholars, had occasionally these 
feelings of constraint in society; but that such feelings were 
so habitual as to become - characteristic, is more than will be 
admitted by many persons, yet surviving, who remember, and 
can never forget the genial glow of his 'conversation in the 
social circle .- 

" July 14th. — To-morrow, please God, I sail for England, 
as I shall finish the Conference with a forenoon's sitting. 
Their financial affairs here take up so much time. The 
business transacted at the District-Meetings in England is all 
done here in open Conference : a fearful waste of time. But 
for this we should have done three days ago." * ' * 

" Chester, July 18th. — From Bangor-Ferry to St. Asaph, 
and thence to Holywell and this city, where we arrived after 
one. Never have I felt myself so exhausted. In the last 
two stages I was nearly knocked up. My whole vital energy 
seems nearly gone ; and I would sacrifice riot a little to be in 
London, as I have seriously feared whether I shall not be laid 
up. I suppose it is the effect of fatigue and anxiety, and 
that a day or two of rest will restore me. But where should 
I get rest ? Here I am among perfect strangers ; and the 
cry is, Preach, Preach. I have promised to preach tO-mor- 
row morning." 


Seventeen days after the last date we find him again leav- 
ing London for Oxford, from which he writes : 

"Aug. 5th. — We reached Oxford between eight and nine. 
It being the race-week, we found it difficult to procure a 
lodging at the Angel, but succeeded at the Mitre. This 
morning Mr. Gabriel's friend procured us the lodgings in 
Broad street, where I now write. I have waited on Mr. 
Gaisford, Regius Professor of Greek, with the Speaker's 
letter. He received us very politely, and invited us to dine 
in public hall in Christchurch. We have accordingly dined 
to-day in the first college of the first university in the 

Writing Aug. 8th, he refers to this again : " It was no 
small gratification to me to sit on the same seat and eat at 
the same table where Charles Wesley sat and ate nearly one 
hundred years ago. At Christchurch the Speaker was edu- 
cated. I believe he wrote strongly to his college to show 
me every respect ; -and they Rave done so. 

'•After my labor yesterday at the Bodleian, I went to visit 
several colleges, and, among the rest, Lincoln, of which Mr. 
J. Wesley was fellow. One of the poorest-looking of the 
colleges; but it has been the parent, under God, of the 
greatest work of a spiritual and reforming nature that has 
appeared upon earth since the second century. How many 
millions have been saved since John and Charles Wesley first 
gave themselves to God in this place ! And yet tins city is 
like the coiners in our mint — it has made the gold for others. 
and is not thereby enriched. I have been here four days, 
and have not seen the face of a Methodist. I am going this 
evening to look for some, that I may hear some kind of 
preaching to-morrow (Sunday) that will do me some good. 
Nobody that I meet knows any thing of them. In this case, 
how like is Oxford to Jerusalem and Zion ! The law pro- 
ceeded from the latter, and the word (doctrine) of the Lord 


from the former ; but how little did either Zion or Jerusalem 
retain of either ! So this great work of God, which began 
in and proceeded from Oxford, has hallowed the whole nation, 
and yet Oxford has not profited by it. The lines of Virgil 
came to my mind, which Theo. may translate to you : 

' Sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes ; 
Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves ; 
Sic vos non vobis vellera fertis oves ; 
Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra boves.'* 

As far as Methodism is concerned, they may be applied to, 
the ancient and learned city and University of Oxford." 

Resuming his work in London, in the pulpit, the com- 
mittee-room, and especially that of the Bible Society — in 
visiting the sick, and in carrying on an extensive correspond- 
ence, always answering letters as soon as he had received 
them— the departing year left him swallowed up in a com- 
plication of duties which tasked his strength to the utmost. 
In grappling with these obligations, days, weeks, and months 
were all too short. " You know," says he, writing to a friend, 
" that when I am at home I am never an hour disengaged, 
being as mere a slave as any on this side the Pillars of Her- 
cules. Every hour has its work, and such work as requires 
every minute of the sixty. Judge, then, how much of my 
London labor was behind, after an absence of five weeks. I 
was almost terrified to return, knowing what a chaos I should 

* "So you, ye bees, who every flower explore, 
Not for yourselves amass the honeyed store. 
So you, ye birds, of wondrous skill possessed, 
Not for yourselves construct the curious nest. 
So you, ye sheep, who roam the verdant field, 
Not for yourselves your snowy fleeces yield. 
So you, ye patient kine, inured to toil, 
Not for yourselves subdue the stubborn soil." 


find to reduce to order. I have been laboring to bring up 
my lee-way — tugging at the Oar for life. You may think 
that during my excursion I must have acquired a measure of 
additional health, and am the better able to ride out the 
storm. I gained no ground, but lost some. You shall judge. 
I travelled by mail two nights and a day to Liverpool ; pet 
off for Stockport to preach for their schools : collection, £122. 
I then rode off for Manchester ; preached the same evening 
for the schools : collection) £154. Without waiting to eat, 
took coach for Nut-Grove, near St. Helen's, where I arrived 
about two o'clock on Monday morning. In the course of 
that week I preached again and again. The next Sabbath 
morning I had to preach before three hundred ministers 
two hours, enough to knock up or knock down a strong 
man for a fortnight. The next Sabbath, at Warrington, for 
a Sunday-school. • Friday for Worcester, to open a new 
chapel : collection £211 4s. One hour out of the chapel, 
and I began again, a second sermon : collection £100 0s. 9^?. 
Without waiting to eat, set off on my way to Liverpool. At 
Penkridge I lay dbwn about three hours and a half, bought a 
penny roll, rode again, and travelled eighty miles without 
stopping to take a morsel of food but my penny roll. After 
various excursions and fatigues, which my paper will not 
permit me to enumerate, I got back to London with a decrease 
both of mental and corporeal energy, to gird myself to new 
labors no less exhausting or depressing than those through 
which I have passed." 

At the Conference of 1814, which was held in Bristol, Dr. 
Clarke was elected for the second time to the presidential 
chair, and, against his own inclinations, was desired to pro- 
long his residence in London. The preceding year had been 
distinguished in the' annals of Methodism by the formation 
of the Wealeyan Missionary Society. In itself essentially a 
missionary institution, Methodism has always put forth an 


evangelizing energy which lives with its life and extends with 
its extent, "spreads undivided," and, we may safely add, yet 
"operates unspent." The Wesleys themselves labored as 
missionaries in Georgia; and, while as yet the system in 
England had but comparatively "a little strength," it 
stretched its arm across the Atlantic, and turned vast regions 
of that continent from a moral wilderness into a fruitful field. 
In 1769 Messrs. Boardman and Pilmoor went from the Con- 
ference, with fifty pounds, to America, and laid the founda- 
tion of what is now the Methodist Episcopal Church, with 
its universities, schools, Bible and missionary societies', its 
apostolic Bishops, its thousands of ordained, ministers, its 
thousands more of local preachers and exhorters, and a body 
of communicants greatly exceeding a million. 

Among the men who took a prominent part in these great 
movements was one whose revered name is indissolubly joined 
with the cause of Christian missions, the Reverend Dr. 
Thomas Coke. This great evangelist carried the gospel to 
myriads beyond the western sea, -both on the continent and 
in the islands. The slave-population of the West Indies 
heard from his lips the truth which was destined to set them 
free ; the truth which, as to civil liberty, trained, them to 
receive it, and meanwhile made multitudes of them, partakers 
of the more glorious liberty of the sons of God. In the- 
prosecution of these blessed embassies, the Doctor crossed 
the Atlantic ocean eighteen times ; and at length, at an ad- 
vanced age, fulfilling the last wish of his heart — the estab- 
lishment of a mission to India and the East — he .died at sea 
on the 2d of May, 1815. 

The West India missions had not only been originated and 
hitherto superintended by Dr. Coke, but, we may say, they 
had been supported by him, largely from his own private 
resources, and more adequately by his unwearied diligence in 
collecting for them, literally from door to door. The present 


writer well remembers him, as coming again and again to his 
father's house, book in hand, to receive the accustomed sub- 
scription. He may be also permitted to record his reminis- 
cence of hearing the Doctor preach his last sermon in Eng- 
land, on the eve of his embarkation for the East; the text 
being the prophecy in the sixty-eighth Psalm : " Ethiopia 
shall soon stretch out her hands unto God."* It may be 
easily conceived that the loss of such a man would be felt as 
a heavy blow to the Methodist missions. But He whose ways 
are not as our ways, willed that this very loss should tend 
rather to the furtherance of the gospel. A new sense of 
obligation to take this great cause in hand more fully took 
possession of the minds both of ministers and people; and 
the result was the rapid organization of the Wesleyan Mis- 
sionary Society, which, rising from small beginning, has taken 
a rank among the beneficent institutions of Christianity 
scarcely second to any. Its ordained agents, including those 
who have relation to the affiliated Conferences, are more than 
six hundred in number, besides some nine hundred salaried 
catechists, interpreters, exhorters, etc., and more than ten 
thousand unpaid agents. By its means the gospel is preached 
in more than twenty languages at three thousand six hundred 
and .fifty places in various pa/ts of Europe, India, China, 
Southern and Western Africa, the West Indies, Australia, 
Canada, and Eastern British America. Within the forty years 
of its existence, immense multitudes, who are now with the dead, 
have heard by it the tidings of salvation ; and myriads have 
been gathered into the Church, who, in life and death, have given 

* Dr. Coke was accompanied at that time by several newly-ordained 
ministers, whom he was taking with him to Ceylon, which he in- 
tended to make the pivot of extensive operations in the Kast. Of 
this band of missionaries only two survive, the Rev. Messrs. Squance 
and Lynch. - [Dr, Harvard, the historian of the mission, has departed 
since the preceding lines were -frrittcn.] 


good evidence that they found those tidings true; while at 
present 114,528 church-members are under the care of the 
missionaries, with 94,500 children, who receive instruction 
in their schools. 

Into this new development of Christian zeal Dr. Clarke 
entered with his whole soul. Henceforward a new claim on 
his time and strength, as an advocate of the missionary cause, 
was often enough made ; but never, if it could be met, was it 
slighted or refused. At the first missionary meeting held in 
City Road Chapel, December, 1814, he presided, and delivered 
an inaugural discourse, which was afterwards published under 
the title of "A short Account of the Introduction of the 
Gospel into the British Isles ; and the Obligations of Britons 
to make known its Salvation to every Ration of the Earth."* 

The Commentary, too, was now in rapid progress; and, 
in transmitting one of the parts to the Speaker of the House 
of Commons, the author accompanied it with a letter, an ex- 
tract from which is here given, on account of the references 
made in it to that communion whose interests and honor the 
Doctor ever delighted to identify with his own : 

"As the people with whom I am religiously connected are* 
not only very numerous, but of considerable weight in the 
land, I have not hesitated to* show them that those sacred 
oracles from which they derive the principles of their faith 
and practice are in perfect consonance with those of the 
British Constitution, and the doctrines of the Established 
Church : not that I doubted their loyalty or attachment 
1 ■ — • — —~ 

* The City Rtfad meeting was not the first, (that at Leeds had the 
priority,) but the first for the Metropolitan District. The Leeds 
meeting was an epoch in the history of the Connection. Among the 
speakers on that oocasion were the Rev. Messrs. Bunting, Morley, 
and Watson, who not only thus assisted at laying the foundation, but 
in after-years, as General Secretaries of the Society, contributed 
invaluable service in upraising this colossal work of mercy.- 


to the State or the Church, but to manifest to them and 
future generations the absolute necessity of holding fast 
that ' form of sound words' which distinguishes our National 
Church, and ever connects the fear of God with honor to the 

" Sir, it is with the most heartfelt pleasure that I can 
state to you, that this immense body of people are, from 
conscience and affection, attached to the constitution both in 
Church and State; and the late decisions in behalf of 
religious toleration have powerfully served to rivet that at- 

The duties of Dr. Clarke's second presidential year were 
largely augmented, as already intimated, by the formation of 
various branch missionary societies in different parts of the 
kingdom ; for which, and other religious interests, he under- 
took extensive journeys, in the course of which we find him 
preaching and holding public meetings in Bristol and Bath, 
: in Exeter, Plymouth, and some parts of Cornwall ; and then, 
northward, in Birmingham, Liverpool, and other places. 
Everywhere crowds hung upon his lips, and the word 
preached came with the saving power of grace to the hearts 
of many, while it stirred up the various Churches thus visited, 
by thoughts of " whatsoever things are true." and "honest," 
and iC lovely," and "of good report," to give the greater dili- 
gence in making their own election sure, and promoting 
the cause of their Saviour in the world. At the Conference 
held in Manchester, he gave up the insignia of the office he 
had so well sustained into the hands of his successor, the Rev. 
John Barber, a venerable servant of Christ, who. as the event 
proved, was then within a few months of the termination of 
his earthly course 

With Dr. Clarke the time had now happily come when the 
same Providence which had dictated his longer residence in 
London, was about to open to him the doors of a more tran- 


quil retreat, where lie would be enabled, with greater free- 
dom from interruption, to prosecute those theologic essays 
he was so anxious to complete before the arrival of the fast- 
approaching time when he too should " cease at once to work 
and live." " I have made up my mind," says he, " if God 
will open me a way, to leave this' distracting city, and get out 
of the way even of a turnpike-road, that I may get as much 
out of every passing hour as I ean. I ought to have no 
work at present but the Commentary ; for none can compre- 
hend the trouble, and often anguish, which the writing of 
these notes costs me ; and what adds to the perplexity is the 
multitude of little things to which almost incessantly my 
attention is demanded. Matters are come to this — -if I 
do not at once get from many of my avocations, I shall 
soon be incapable of prosecuting any. I must hide my head 
in the country, or it will shortly be hidden in the grave." 

This was a decision which, in regard to various philan- 
thropic institutions in London, to which he had long given 
his gratuitous and effective aid, as well as to the feelings. of 
a multitude who had greatly profited under his ministry, 
could only be unwelcome, except for the personal relief it 
would give to one so highly honored and esteemed, whose 
added years, it was well believed, would be fully consecrated 
to the same great objects which had commanded the days of 
the past. 



the Student and scholar. 

Hitherto our* narrative has turned mainly on those in- 
cidents, of life, and traits of dharacter, which relate to the 
subject of our memoir as a Christian minister; but a biogra- 
phy of Adam Clarke would be essentially defective, in which 
a respectful homage was not rendered to his memory as a 
' scholar and a man of letters. Unhappily, the scanty limits 
of the present work will not allow of extensive disquisition 
on this topic, were the writer ever so well able to indulge in 
it. Necessity prescribes that our pages should teem with 
facts rather than fancies, and should treasure up materials 
which the thoughtful reader may make the subject of his 
own conclusions. For myself, I enter on this chapter with a 
mortifying sense of insufficiency. I am not going to affect 
the critic, or to sit in judgment on the intellect and learning 
of a man the- latchet pf whose shoes I should have been *»- 
worthy to' unloose. On tlje other hand, I may be doing a 
pleasurable service' to my readers by collecting and setting 
down such notices of his mental "development as have been 
given, here and there, by Dr. Clarke himself, or by those who 
knew him intimately. 

We are first led back to the village-school in Ireland, 
where the child, under the indignant glance of his dis- 
appointed and anxious father, tried to learn, but could not. 


between him and his brother : the latter apprehended a sub- 
ject at first Bight, and knew as much of it in a short time as 
ever he knew after t. the former was slow in apprehension, 
and proceeded with great caution, till he was sure - of his 
principles: he then went forward with vigor, in pushing 
them to their utmost legitimate consequences." 

These two brothers had for some time but an, interrupted 
school-tuition, from the demand which the garden and fields 
made upon their labor. "Before and after school-hours was 
the only time their father could do any thing in his little 
farm : the rest of the toil, except in those times when several 
hands must be employed to plant and sow and gather in the 
fruits of the^earth, was performed by his two sons. This 
cramped their education, but — labor omnia vincit improbus : 
the two brothers went '"day about' to school, and he who had 
the advantage of the day's instruction remembered all he 
could, and imparted on his return to him who continued' in 
the farm all the knowledge he had acquired in the day. 
Thus they were alternately instructors and scholars, and each 
taught and learned for the other. This was making the best 
of their circumstances) and such a plan is much more judi- 
cious than that which studies to make one son a scholar while 
the others are the drudges of the family, whereby jealousies 
and feuds are often'generated."* 

No doubt this alternation of rustic exercise with school- 
seclusion had a good effect in strengthening the child's 
physical constitution, and in ' contributing to insure him a 
healthy mind in a healthy body. Good <air and exercise have 
a wondrous influence in giving tone to the intellect, as in 
after-life Adam Clarke found, when, a wandering itinerant, 
he read many a book and thought out many a sermon tub dio, 
on the high road, or in the wayside field. So in his school- 

* Autobiography. 


days, in summer-time, his lessons were often conned in the 
open air. " The school," he tells us, " was situated in the 
skirt of a wood on a gently-rising eminence, 'behind which a 
hill, thickly covered with bushes of different kinds and 
growth, rose to a considerable height. In front of this there 
was a great variety of prospect both of hill and dale, where, 
in their seasons, all the operations of husbandry might be 
distinctly seen. The boys who could be trusted were per- 
mitted in the fine weather to go into the wood to study their 
lessons." On this pleasant slope, with the auburn and purple 
moorlands spread out before him, the sunlit sea in the dis- 
tance, and the smoke from the cottage-chimneys here and 
there rising into the quiet sky, the boy would find that the 
pages of Virgil had a charm which made the task of constru- 
ing a labor of love. " Quid facial Icetas segetes," etc., would 
have a commentary on the page of nature before him, as well 
as in the words of the annotator in the margin. 

"What makes a plenteous harvest; when to turn 
The fruitful soil, and when to sow the cornf; 
The care of sheep, of oxen, and of kine ; 
And how to raise on elms the teeming vine ; 
The birth and genius of the frugal bee, 
I sing, M»cenas, and I sing to thee."* 

" In this most advantageous situation," to quote his own 
words, "Adam read the Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, 
where he had almost every scene ' described in those poems' 
exhibited in reaj life before his eyes'. If ever he enjoyed 
real intellectual happiness, it was in that place and in that 
line of study. These living scenes were often finer com- 
ments on the Roman poet than all the labored notes and 
illustrations of the Delphin editors and the Variorum critics." 

* Georgica, i. 


The glimpses which his school-books gave into the bygone 
times of Greek and Roman history, awoke in his mind a 
strong desire to become more fully acquainted with them; 
and, among other methods which his scanty means allowed 
him, he procured " an old copy of Littleton's Dictionary, and 
made himself master of all the proper names, so that there 
was neither person nor place in the classic world of which he 
could not give an account. This made him of great con- 
sideration among his schoolfellows, and most of them in all 
the forms generally applied to him for information." 

His love of reading had already become intense and un- 
conquerable. " To gratify this passion, he would undergo 
any privations. The pence that he and his brother got, they 
carefully saved for the purchase of some book. 
Theirs was but a little library, but to them right precious." 
He gives a list of some of the. books ; where, with Jack the 
Giant-killer, we have Guy Earl of Warwick, the Seven Wise 
Masters, the Nine Worthies of the World, the Seven Cham- 
pions, Sir Francis Drake, Robinson Crusoe, and Montelion, 
or the Knight of the Oracle; the (Jentle Shepherd, the Pe- 
ruvian, Talcs, and the Arabian Nights' Entertainments; with 
many others. 

In those fanciful days he greatly delighted himself with 
whatever books he could <^ot of a romantic kind, written in 
a metrical form ; and, as he grew up, he became extensively 
read in the popular ballad-literature both of England and 
Ireland. In after-years, he used to boast that his library con- 
tained some of the choicest specimens of the old poetic 
romances. His mind, indeed, may not have been poetical ; 
and the pleasure which in later days he found in that de- 
scription of reading, resulted rather from the insight it gave 
him into the manners and feelings of past generations, than 
from any sympathy with the charms of the poem itself. 
In that respect he read only as an antiquarian. Thus, re- 


ferring to the metrical ballads of Sir Walter Scott, he s 
" I scarcely ever give myself the trouble to read the poei 
the notes are the most valuable part of the book to me, 
these I can convert to my own purposes." Nor is it at 
improbable that the first impulse of his mind to antiqua 
studies was communicated by his converse, in childhood, i 
these versified traditions of the past. 

Nor was he without some skill in those days in strinj 
rhymes together. A specimen which has come down tc 
composed " one Saturday afternoon, at a time when he 
not learned to write small hand, so that he was Oblige* 
employ his brother to write down the verses from his li 
shows, if not a precocity of genius, yet an amount of ta 
which, if cultivated, would have given him a place, at 1< 
among our second-rate poets.* 

Along with his classical lessons at school, in Greek 
Latin, he received some instruction in mathematics 
French; in which departments a good foundation was 
for the progressive attainments of coming life. One 
cumstance we should not omit : He tells us he foun 
much easier to learn after his conversion to God. " The 
he could not well enter into the spirit of Lucian and Juve 
which he then read, yet he was surprised to find 
easy, in comparison of former times, learning appea 
The grace which he had received greatly illumined and 
proved his understanding, and learning now seemed to 
little more than an exercise of memory. He has often s 
'After I found the peace of God, I may safely assert th 
learned more in one day than I could formerly in a mo 
And no wonder : my soul began to rise out of the ruin 
its fall, by the favor of the Eternal Spirit. I found 

* It may be seen in his Autobiography— Life by Mrs. Smith, 
i., p. 40, 


religion was the gate to true learning, and that they who 
went ^through their studies without it had double work to 

In English reading, he was engaged at this time with 
some very good books, which were sanctified to his improve- 
ment both in mind and heart. Such were the works of Der- 
hani and Ray. He read them with Kersey's and Martin's 
Dictionaries by him for the explanation of technical words. 
Baxter's " Saints' Everlasting Rest," and the Life of the de- 
voted Brainerd, he perused with solemn and prayerful joy. 
•These two latter books seem to have given him a great im- 
pulse toward the ministry; and this was probably what he 
meant when, expressing his obligations to Mrs. Rutherford, 
who had lent them to him, he said that it was she who had 
made him a preacher. 

Such was the stage of mental culture he had attained, 
when entering, under the circumstances already related, on 
the life and labors of an itinerant Methodist preacher. On 
leaving Ireland for Kingswood, these treasures of the mind 
were his only patrimony. Even of books of his own he had 
scarcely any to take away. • "I brought from home an Eng- 
lish Bible, a Greek Testament, Prideaux's Connection, and 
Young's Night Thoughts, on the margin of which I had 
written a number of notes. It was a favorite with some of 
my children, and remained in the family when the others had 
gone. Young I twice recaptured : once from Anna, and once 
from Eliza j but where it now is I cannot tell." 

In the first circuit some few attempts were made to keep 
up his classical reading, but with little effect, from the want 
of suitable books, and the" Necessity of preparation for the 
constant work of preaching, on which he had now fully 
entered. In the course of the year, as we have seen, he was 
induced by the influence of well-meant but barbarous advice 
to give up scholastic learning altogether. Yet it may be 


questioned whether the four years' recess from those par- 
ticular studies, which followed his adoption of that advice, 
was really detrimental to his mental education, considered 
as a whole. A man requires something more than Greek 
and Latin to be a preacher of the gospel. A mere classical 
scholar, whose mind is not stored with general knowledge, 
and whose reasoning faculties are suffered to lie dormant, is 
but poorly fitted for the grand labors of the Christian minis- 
try ; and Adam Clarke, while he left Homer and Virgil to 
their repose, was earnestly engaged in gathering in, and in 
giving forth to others, the precious fruits of that knowledge 
of the word and ways of God which makes the moral life of 
man strong, healthy, and beautiful. He began the study 
of the Hebrew Bible, read a good deal in French, and made 
his first essay in authorship itself, by translating some of the 
Abbe" Maury's Discourse on Pulpit Eloquence for the 
Arminian Magazine. He, moreover, enlarged his acquaint- 
ance with the works of the great British theologians. He 
read widely and diligently, morning, noon, and night, not 
only in his different places of sojourn, but # ' in walking and 
riding as well. Thus those years were by no means lost, 
but, probably, more substantially improved > than they would 
have been by the bald word-studies h'e had been led for that 
time to abandon. However this be considered, the time 
came when he could conscientiously resume them. Mr. 
Wesley, to whom in 1786 he had sent the translation from 
Maury, in kindly acknowledging it, charged him " to culti- 
vate his mind, as far as his circumstances would allow, and 
not to forget any thing he had ever learned." "This," says 
he, " was a word in season, and, next to the Divine oracles, 
of the highest authority with Mr,. C. He began to reason 
with himself thus : ' What would he have me to do ? He 
certainly means that I should not forget the L'atin and Greek 
which I have learned ; but then he does not know that by a 


solemn vow I have abjured the study of those languages for 
ever. But was such a vow lawful? Is the study of 
Hebrew and Greek, the languages in which God has given 
the Old and New Testaments, sinful ? It must have been 
laudable in some, else we should have had no translations. 
Is it likely that what must have been laudable in those who 
have translated the sacred writings, can be sinful in any, 
especially in ministers of God's holy word? I have made 
the vow, it is true; but who required it? What have I 
gained by it ? I was told it was dangerous, and would fill 
me with pride, and pride would lead me to perdition ; but 

who told me so ? Could Mr. , at whose suggestions I 

abandoned all these studies, be considered as a competent 
judge ? I fear I have been totally in error, and that my 
vow may rank with rash ones. Which, then, is the greater 
evil — to keep it, or to break it ? I should beg pardon from 
God for having made it; and, if it were sinful to make, it 
is so to keep it.' So he kneeled down, and bested God to 
forgive the rash vow, and to undo any obligation which 
might remain. He arose satisfied that he had done wronp; in 
making it, and that it was his duty now to cultivate his mind 
in every way. to be a workman needing not to be ashamed, 
rightly dividing the word of truth." 

In resuming the classics, he found ho had so far forgotten 
the grammatical forms, as to be obliged to began almost dc 
novo. But he now took care to lay the foundations strongly 
in acquiring the <!rcek and Latin accidence* ; and, going to 
work in jrood earnest, soon regained what h;id been lost, and 
thenceforth made steady advancements. 

From the time of his appointment to Bristol, after his 
return from the Channel Islands, he was unusually success- 
ful in gathering together in his library the best editions of 
the classical authors, and spread out his reading in all direc- 
tions, till in the lapse of years, spent in persevering study, 



he had become familiar with the great authors of antiquity, 
from Homer and Herodotus down to the Neo-Platonists of 
Alexandria and the Byzantine annalists. .In communion 
with these great minds he lived through the ages of the 
past : he saw, in the drama of the Iliad, Troy sink in flame 
and thunder ; he wandered with Ulysses in his homeward 
way, and voyaged with the Argonauts through the gorgeous 
scenes portrayed by Apollonius. He sat with Theocritus 
among the wild thyme of the Sicilian hills; with Hannibal 
he gazed on Italy from the Alpine rocks; and stood with 
Scipio amid the ruins of Carthage. He heard Demosthenes 
on the Pnyx, Cicero at the bar, and Plato in the academic 
grove. And these sights and voices of times for ever gone 
did not yield him pleasure only — they brought him profit : 
he read with a purpose, and made every acquisition subser- 
vient to the great design of his life, the elucidation of the 
Bible, and the advancement of religious truth among man- 
kind. He had ascertained that all knowledge helped to 
promote this end ; and wherever it was to be obtained, there 
was he. Ubi met, ibi apis ; and, like the bee, he gathered 
honey from every flower. This profiting appears to all who 
are acquainted with his works, and especially in the Com- 
mentary) in reading which, we see how aifluent was the 
author's erudition, and with what advantage he employs it in 
illustrating the sacred text, seeking to bring every imagina- 
tion and thought of even heathen minds into subservience 
to the cause of Christ, and to make the heroes, historians, 
poets, and philosophers of the pagan world, so many Ne- 
thinim, to do such employment as they could in the courts 
of the one true G-od.- ■ 

So, too, there are those yet living who remember with 
an unfading pleasure how richly the .conversation of Dr. 
Clarke was pervaded with choice and useful allusions de- 
rived from classic literature 5 while, occasionally, an hour 


spent in listening to him yielded as much profit as a day's 

But, respectable as were his attainments in what is strictly 
classic erudition, Dr. Clarke stands out more prominently 
among the scholars of his time as a master of Oriental learn- 
ing. In this respect his celebrity is, perhaps, not owing so 
much to a thorough and practical acquaintance with the 
languages of the East, as to the circumstance that the cul- 
tivation of them has met with but little patronage in our 
country, and has called forth the resolute energy requisite to 
excel in them from comparatively few of the scholars of Eng- 
land. It is true that life is short, and that knowledge is a 
boundless deep ; that, where the whole of a man's years are 
devoted to study, he cannot learn every thing ; and that, in 
general, a serious application to the classics or mathematics, 
combined with professional duties, will not allow men to 
meddle with Hebrew or Persian. But what is a just matter 
of complaint is, that when men have boon led to encounter 
such tasks, and have so far succeeded as to be able to pro- 
mote this description of learning through the medium of the 
press, they have been almost uniformly called to suffer for 
it : so that what Solomon the king wrote, that " he who in- 
creaseth knowledge increascth sorrow," has been fulfilled in 
them. The greatest work in Oriental literature we English 
possess, next to the London Polyglot Bible ; ( itself elaborated 
with much anxiety, as well as toil,) is the Ileptaglot Lexicon 
of Edmund Castclj* in the" completion of which the author, 

* Dr. Castel labored at this work seventeen years, maintaining at 
his own cost seven Englishmen and seven foreign scholars, all of 
whom died before the work was finished. His own fortune of 
£1'J,000 was exhausted in the undertaking ; he borrowed £1800 
more, and was then obliged to appeal to the mercy of Charles II. — 
" ne career t-inct priemium tot laborum ft svmptdt" — Test a prison 


instead of winning a fortune, spent one, and brought liim ■ 
self to the threshold of a jail. We have seen that to the 
laudable overtures of Dr. Clarke and the Rev. Josiah Pratt 
for a new edition of the Polyglot, no response worth naming 
was given : a conclusion almost as impotent as what followed 
when another learned person published a Prospectus for a 
new edition of Meninski's Thesaurus, and received in return 
the name of one subscriber, and that one, not an Englishman, 
but a Pole ! 

It may not excite great surprise that the dead languages 
of the Orient are so scantily cultivated in our schools of 
learning; but it is a marvel in the eyes of our Continental 
neighbors, that England, with such relations to the East, 
should be so indifferent to the knowledge of the living 
tongues of the people whom Providence has brought under 
her protection, or subjected to her rule. One would think 
our Indian and Asiatic interests would cause the study of 
Sanskrit, Hindustanee, Arabic, Armenian, and Persian to 
become almost as popular as German and French. France, 
which has no such interests to operate as a motive to the 
patronage of such studies, has for many years sustained the 
means of a gratuitous prosecution of them by all who desire 
such advantages. At Paris, where I have for months together 
enjoyed the privilege of lessons, without money or price, 
there are professors' chairs for the current languages of the 
East, free of access to all. Great patronage is also given in 
Germany, and even in Denmark, to the same pursuits. From 
the imperial press at Vienna editions of the most important 
works in Oriental learning are continually issuing ; while the 
Russian government makes such studies imperative on large 
classes of its subjects. Every country which has commer- 

should be the reward of such labors and expense. His Majesty gave 
him, in answer to this appeal — a begging letter, to the bishops and 
nobility ! 


cial or diplomatic relations with Russia, has its linguistic 
representatives in the schools of St. Petersburg — Novo 
Tcherskask, Storopol, and Kazan— where the languages of 
Circassia, Tartary, Turkey, Persia, Arabia, India, and China 
form a regular part of the education of young men, accord- 
ing to the department of public service to which they are 

In England some progress has been made of late years, 
but not enough ; far from enough to answer to the scale of our 
advantages or our duties. In addition to what has been done 
in the establishment at Haileybury, greater effectiveness 
should' be given to the study of the Oriental languages in our 
universities, by more stringent requirements and more gen- 
erous rewards ; and in the metropolis there should be, as in 
Paris, free schools, or, if we cannot afford to go so far, then 
schools at an easy rate of payment, for the encouragement of 
hundreds- of young men who would gratefully "avail them- 
selves of such a privilege. 

To return to Dr. Clarke. The first bias of his mind 
toward this kind of learning seems to have been given at a 
very early time of life. He tells us that the reading of the 
"Arabian Nights' Entertainments" gave him that decided 
taste for Oriental history which proved so useful to him in 
his biblical studies. He wished to acquaint himself more 
particularly with races of people whose customs and manners, 
both religious and civil, were so strange and curious ; and he 
never lost sight of this till Divine Providence opened his 
way, and put the means in his power \p gain some acquaint- 
ance with the principal languages of the East. 

Under the circumstances already related, he began Hebrew 

at Trowbridge. He entered heartily upon it, and Boon made 

• - 

* An excellent advantage for men preparing for missionaries. 
Look at the Propaganda at Rome. They study there all the lan- 
guages of the earth. 


himself master of as mueh as could be gathered from Bay- 
ley's Grammar. The excellence of this work consists in a 
variety of copious extracts from the Bible, with a translation 
and analysis ; but, as a grammar, it fails to give a perspicuous 
exhibition of the forms of the language, and is now become 
obsolete. It is, however, a kind of amiable book, and a copy 
is worth having. Dr. Bayley, the author, after leaving 
Kingswood, obtained some church-preferment in Manchester. 
Mr. Wesley in his Journal mentions being once his guest in 
that city, and expresses the pleasure with which he heard 
Miss Bayley read a Hebrew psalm at the 'time of family- 

The next book Mr. Clarke appears to have got at Plymouth 
was Leigh's Gritica Sacra, where he found the literal- sense 
of every Greek and Hebrew word in the Old and New Testa- 
ment, and the definitions enriched with theological and philolo- 
gical notes drawn from the best grammarians and 'critics. Just 
lately Dr. Kennicott had then published his edition of the He- 
brew Bible. His sister, who resided at Plymouth Dock, lent 
Mr. Clarke a copy; the careful reading of which gave him his 
first practical knowledge of biblical criticism. 

He first saw the Polyglot Bible in the public library at St. 
Helier's, Jersey. When first settled in the islands, he had 
set to work on Grabe's SeptuagLnt, with the desire to see how 
far it agreed with or differed from the Hebrew text, with 
which he had now become pretty familiar. He found that 
the Septuagint threw much light on the Hebrew ; the trans- 
lators, who had advantages we do not possess, having per- 
petuated the meaning of a multitude of Hebrew words which 
would otherwise have passed away. He read on in the Sep- 
tuagint to the end of the Psalms, noting down the most im- 
portant differences in the margin of a quarto Bible in three 
volumes, which was afterwards unfortunately lost. At' this 
time his own stock of books was very small ; and, having no 


living teacher, he had to contend with difficulties at every 
stage. But, when it was his turn to serve in Jersey, he 
made all the use he could of the public library which had 
been established in St. Helier's by the Rev. Mr. Falle, one 
of the ministers of the island, and its historian. Here, as 
before said, he had the use of Walton's Polyglot. In read- 
ing the Prolegomena to the first volume, he perceived the 
importance of the Oriental versions there described, and 
began to feel an intense desire to read them. His first 
attempt was with the Samaritan text of the Pentateuch. 
This was easy work, as the words are all Hebrew, only ex- 
pressed in the ancient Salnaritan character, which he very 
soon learned. This Samaritan text must be distinguished 
from the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch, which is a 
different work. The text is an invaluable relic. It gives, 
occasionally, accounts of transactions mentioned by Moses 
which are more full than those of the Hebrew text ; it expresses 
the words, also, more fully ; gives the essential vowels which 
are supplied in the Hebrew text by the Masoretic points ; 
and contains as well some important variations in the chro- 
nology. The Samaritan eersinn is a Targnm, or paraphrase 
on the text, in a mongrel dialect, which, witli an \ramaie 
basis, comprises a multitude of words, Cuthite, Arabic, and 

"Having met with a copy of Walton's Intnuhirtln ml Lin- 
gua* Oriental's, he next applied himself to the study of the 
Syriae." From that little manual, however, he would get no 
further instruction in Syriae than what relates to the orthoepy 
of- the language, and that not delivered in the plainest man- 
ner, lie was. therefore thankful for the additional help 
afforded him in the Scholia Sj/riaen of beusden. \)y tho 
time he had mastered this, he was able to consult any text in 
the Syriae version ; so that the Polyglot became more and 
more available to him. "All the time he could spare from 


the duties of his office he spent in the public library, reading 
and collating the texts in the Polyglot, especially the He- 
brew, Samaritan, Chaldee, Syriac, Vulgate, and Septuagint. 
The Arabic, Persian, and Ethiopic he did not yet attempt, de- 
spairing to make any improvement in them without a pre- 
ceptor." When obliged to leave the library, he cast a linger- 
ing look at the Polyglot, and sighed for one he could call his 
own. Providence gratified his desire, and in a way which he 
will best relate for himself: "Knowing that he could not 
always enjoy the benefit of the public library, he began 
earnestly to wish to have a copy of his own ; but three pounds 
per quarter and his food (which was the whole of his income 
as a preacher) could ill supply any sum for the purchase of 
books. Yet he believed that God in the course 

of his providence would furnish him with this precious gift. 
He had a strong confidence that by some means or other he 
should get a Polyglot. One morning a preacher's wife who 
lodged in the same family said, ' Mr. Clarke, I had a strange 
dream last night.' 'What was it, Mrs. D. ?'* said he. 
' Why, I dreamed that some person had made you a present 
of a Polyglot Bible.' He answered, 'Then I shall get one 
soon, I have no doubt.' In the course of a day or two he 
received a letter containing a bank-note of ten pounds from 
a person from whom he never expected any thing of the 
kind. He immediately said, 'Here is the Polyglot.' He 
wrote to a friend in London, who procured him a tolerably 
good copy, the price exactly ten pounds." % 

Mr. Clarke's appointment to Bristol afforded him yet 
greater facilities. He had access to some important libraries; 
and from the large collections of second-hand books he made 
continual accessions to his own. The Rev Henry Moore, 
referring to this period of his life, says : "I met him in Bris- 

* Mrs. De Quetoville. 


tol. I was glad to see a considerable alteration in his person, 
though still nothing approaching the clerical costume. I 
found he had been a hard student, and had made progress, 
especially in Oriental literature. His library alarmed me. 
He had among his other works a ^Polyglot Bible, and he seemed 
determined to master every tongue in it. I said, ' Brother 
Clarke; you have got a choice collection of books ; but what 
wril you do with them? As a Methodist preacher, you 
cannot grVe them that attention which they demand.' He, 
smiled, and said, 'I will try.' I found he had been trying 
indeed. To an improvement in Latin, Greek, and French, he 
had added a considerable knowledge of Hebrew; and he 
showed me a Chaldee Grammar which he had himself written 
out, in order to be able to study the whole of the prophet 
Daniel. As he had not hitherto been appointed to circuits 
favorable to such studies, I was surprised at the advancement 
he had made. Our common work at that time was to travel 
two or three hundred miles in a month, preach generally 
fifteen times in a week, and attend to various other duties • 
and, if Mr. Wesley' heard of a very studious preacher, he 
was sure to keep him at that work, lest he should forget or 
lightly esteem the great design of God to which [the preachers] 
were expressly called in that extraordinary day; which was 
not to dispense knowledge, but life, even life from the dead. 
Knowledge would follow of course, if life were attained; but 
zeal and tender love for souls might easily be lost. His con- 
cise charge, when 'he received them as his helpers, was. 'You 
have nothing to do but to save souls ; therefore spend and be 
speat therein.' ." 

These reflections are good enough; but there was no need 

.to make them in connection with Mr. Clarke's name, and that 

Mr. Moore knew very well. Indeed, he immediately adds : 

" Bat I found' my friend had not neglected this high calling. 



His discourses seldom smelled of the lamp, and lie was zealous 
for the Lord." Mr.. Clarke fully entered into the spirit and 
design of his^ revered father in tie-gospel; and the "Twelve 
Bales of a Helper," from which "Mr. Moore quotes what he 
calls Mr. Wesley's charge, were never more heartily observed 
than by him. In his old copy of the "Large Minutes," I 
find his mark attached in the margin to the first of these 
Rules : " Be diligent. Never be unemployed a moment. 
Never be triflingly employed. Never while away time; 
neither spend any more time at any plaee than is strictly 
necessary." The observance of that rule was the secret of 
the " progress" which astonished, not his friend Moore . 
only, but many besides. 

In another part of the same manual, his mark stands 
also in the margin opposite the following passage on the 
employment of time, addressed by • Mr. Wesjey to his 
preachers: "We advise you, 1. As often as possible to rise 
at four., 2. From four to five in the morning to meditate^ 
pray, and read, partly the Soriptures with the Notes, partly 
the closely practical parts of what we have published. 3. 
From six in the morning till twelve, allowing an hour for 
Dreakfast, to read in order, with much pcayer, the Christian 
Library, and the other books which we have published, in 
prose and' verse." 

It will be seen, therefore, that Mr, Wesley never intended 
his preachers should be ignorant and illiterate men. Here 
are seven hours a day prescribed for study. Very few 
Methodist ministers in the 'present day can afford so much 
time, for their books. The works recommended in -the 
Minute were not,- of course, to be the exclusive reading of 
the preachers ; for elsewhere Mr. Wesley gives another list 
of works, comprising some of the .principal of the classics, 
arranged for four years' study; the going through whioh, he 

LL.D. 323 

tells the preachers, would make a man a better scholar than 
many a graduate of the universities. 

Two years later Messrs. Moore and Clarke met again, when 
the former ''was astonished at the progress" the latter "had 
made : he seemed to haver Oriental learning at his fingers' 
ends." While residing at Bristol, on his second appoint- 
ment to that city in 1798, Mr. Clarke applied himself to 
learn Persian. He had now such an insight into the laws 
of languages as to find assistance rather than obstruction in the 
simultaneous study of several of them. In one of his letters, 
written later in life to Mr. Hugh Stuart Boyd, who appears 
to have expressed a doubt as to the advisableness of such a 
course, he says : " I think it strange that you are of opinion 
that we cannot carry on consentaneously two or three lan- 
guages at a time. If I could not do so, I think I should be 
tempted to run out into the street and dash the place where 
the brains should be against the first post I met." In fact, 
the more he learned, the more he found he could learn. To 
him who had, was given. In Bristol he had become ac- 
quainted with at man of kindred spirit, and learned how true 
it is, in these matters as. well as in others, that " as iron 
sharpeneth iron, so doth the countenance of a man his 
friend." The gentleman I allude to was the late Mr. Charles 
Fox; one who to many elegant attainments added a passion- 
ate love for Oriental, and especially for Persian, poetry. Mr. 
Clarke and he became intimate, and each proved a help to 
the other. Clarke obtained a good deal of aid from Fox in 
the study of Persian ; and Fox, by his converse and corre- 
spondence with his Methodist friend, became a devout believer, 
and exemplified in life and death the blessedness of the true 

In Persian, Mr. Clarke commenced with the version of the 
Gospels in that language, found in the fifth volume of the 
London Polyglot ; nor could he at that time have adopted a 

324 LITE OF tHE 

better text-book, as the subject was already familiar, and the 
language good idiomatic Persian.* The version itself was 
not made from the Greek text, but from the Syriac Peschito, 
the very words of which are sometimes retained with & Per- 
sian gloss ; but the body of the work is good Persian. Henry 
Martyn found that the Persians at Shiraz liked it better than 
the more recent translations. "To my sdrprise," he says, 
" the old despised Polyglot version was not only spoken- of 
as superior to the rest,' [i. e., the two by Sabat,] but it was 
asked, ' What fault is found in this ? This is the language 
we speak.' "f 

The grammar Mr. Clarke used was that of Sir William 
Jones, no doubt the best in existence. Of this elaborate 
work he wrote in after-days a masterly description in the 
Eclectic Review, which may be seen also in his Miscellaneous' 
Works. The perusal of that review — as well as of others, 
in the same volume, on Wilkins's Persian Dictionary, *nd 
Gilchrist's Theory of the Persian Verbs— '■will reveal abund- 
ant evidence that in the progress of years the writer had 

* This translation was made in the fourteenth century by a Per- 
sian Jew who had embraced Christianity, and had- become a resident 
at Kaffa, in the Crimea. We learn as much from the epigraph at the 
close of the work: "The four glorious Gospels of Matthew, Mark, 
Luke, and John were finished in the «ity. of Kaffa, inhabited by 
Christians, the second prayers being done, on the ninth of the 
month Tammuz, which in Latin is called July, in the year 1841 of 
Christ the Messiah, by the hand of the most weak of the people of 
God, Simon ben Josef ibn Abraham Al-tabrizi. The God of the 
pious in his mercy and providence be so gracious, that those who 
read or hear this. Gospel may say a Paternoster and Aye Maria for 
the poor writer, that he. also by the Divine meroy may be forgiven. 
Amen. It was, moreover, written by the command and. counsel of 
his lord and king, the friend and brother of the holy Church,, the 
prince Ibn Sahm Addaula ibn Sirana, snrnamed Teflizi; to whom 
and to whose parents may God be propitious!" 

f Journals, vol. ii., p. 368. 


become an accomplished critic in the literature of that beau- 
tiful tongue. 

It will not be supposed that a man of Mr. Clarke's tastes 
and impulses would remain satisfied without the knowledge 
of Arabic, a language which, for the purposes he had at 
heart, wduld have a higher claim upon his regard than that 
of the Persians. As a cognate of the Hebrew, it takes rank 
among the more strictly biblical tongues ; and some acquaint- 
ance with it will be helpful to the thorough study of the 
original text of the Old Testament. Dr. Clarke, however, 
was by no means disposed to attach that exaggerated import- 
ance to the knowledge of Arabic, in this respect, which has 
been claimed for it by some scholars. He gave it as his 
deliberate opinion, after much experience, that "a man 
may. perfectly understand the whole phraseology of the He- 
brew Bible who knows not a letter of the Arabic alphabet ; 
and though we readily grant that a knowledge of that lan- 
guage may be of considerable service in supplying several 
deficient roots, whose derivatives alone remain in the Hebrew 
Bible, yet, as to the general. understanding of tlie Hebrew 
Scriptures, we assert in our turn that a knowledge of Hellenistic 
Greek, and especially that of the Septuagint, will avail more 
toward a thorough understanding of the sacred text than all 
the Arabic in Hariri or the Koran. Of all the books in the 
Old Testament, the book of Job alone is that to which Arabic 
learning may be most successfully applied, from the number 
of Arabisms which it contains; yet even here it can do but 
little, as is evident from the excessive labors of Schultens 
and Chapelow on this book, both eniiuent Arabic scholars 
and critics; who, nevertheless, in the judgment of those best 
qualified to form a correct opinion, have contributed little 
toward the elucidation of the difficulties found in this ancient 
b ook."* 

* Works, to!, x., p. 206. 


He entered, however, on the study with his wonted energy, 
and followed it up with such results as to become one of the 
most respectable Arabic scholars in England. The enthu- 
siasm he felt in this pursuit, in its earlier stages, discovers 
itself in the sacrifice he made to obtain what was then 
deemed, and rightly, the best lexicon to the language, the 
Thesaurus of Meninski. He had written to his bookseller to 
look out for a copy for him, and learned • in reply that " one 
copy had been sold the day before, to a brother in the trade, 
for £30; that he had been to see what he would let it go for, 
and that he demanded forty guineas, saying he could make 
even more of it, but that he would keep it forty-eight hours 
for the answer." Mr. Clarke immediately wrote to a friend 
for the loan of the money, since "without the Thesaurus he 
was at a stand in the prosecution of his studies ;" engaging 
that he would " faithfully repay it in three months." His 
friend, however, demurred to the greatness of the sum "for 
a book," and, instead of the forty guineas, sent him some 
dry advice on the necessity of learning the value of money, 
and of confining his wishes and wants Within the limits of 
his circumstances. Nothing daunted, he went in person to 
another friend, and. said, "Mr. Ewer, I want to borrow of 
you £40 for three months, at the end of which I will repay 
you. Will you lend me that sum ?" To which the good 
man replied,. " Yes, Mr. Clarke, twenty times that sum for 
twenty times as long, if you wish it : you may have it to- 
day." So Meninski was brought home, and became one of 
the choice companions of his life.* 

* The high price of this work may be explained, not only from its 
intrinsic excellence, but from the circumstances of its .history. 
Francois Menin was a native of Lorraine, in 1623 ; and, having com- 
pleted his studies at Rome, obtained a situation in the Polish em- 
bassy at Constantinople, where he became familiar with Turkish u 


In Arabian literature, as well as Persian, Dr. Clarke from 
time to time enriched his library with the choicest authors, 
both printed and in manuscript. His collection of Oriental 
manuscripts became at length truly magnificent. In the 
course of his earlier studies, he derived great advantage from 
the Bibltotheque Orientate of D'Herbelot, and cherished a 
strong wish to publish an English translation of it.* 

interpreter to the embassy, and was subsequently appointed ambas- 
sador himself. In this connection with the Polish court, and 
naturalized as a Pole, he took the national termination to his name, 
and was henceforward known as Meninski. In his thirty-eighth 
year, he entered the service of Austria as an interpreter of Oriental 
languages at Vienna, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre at 
Jerusalem, and was made a knight of that order. AVhen fifty-seven, 
he published the great work which had been the labor of his life — 
the Thaaurut Linguarum Orientalium, in four volumes (Vienna, 
1680.} It is a lexicon of the Turkish, Arabic, and Persian lan- 
guages, and partially of the Tartar ; the definitions and explana- 
tions being given in Latin, German, Italian, French, and Polish. A 
new edition was published a hundred years later from the same press, 
with the same types, but on inferior paper. Copies, however, of 
both these editions' arc exceedingly scarce, from the destruction of 
most of those of the first, by fire, owing to the explosion of a bomb 
at the siege of Vienna by the Turks ; and of the second, from an 
accident by water. Previously to the appearanco of Hichanlson'n 
Persian, Arabic, and English Dictionary, a good copy has sold for 
eighty, and sometimes for a hundred, guineaB. The copies arc gene- 
rally marked by the fire, and stained more or less by tlio water 
used to quench the flames. The fourth volume of the work was 
entirely destroyed, and cost the author seven years more of labor 
to replace it. 

* "In my answer to Mr. Phillips, Paul's Church-yard, I told him 
1 had projected the translation of a work of the greatest conse- 
quence. . . . Our extensive conquests in the East, and the 
commercial transactions with that great world, render every thing 
relative to the history of those countries, the manners of the 
ancient and modern inhabitants, their arts and sciences, mythology, 


Among his other researches, he had become master of 
enough of Ethiopie and Coptic to be able to read and pro- 
nounce the few scanty pieces we have in those languages. 
Connected with the latter, there was a little incident which 
deserves to be set down. On one of his visits to London, in 
1803, he met one day with the secretary of the Royal 
Society of Antiquarians, Dr. Brandt, who invited him to go 
with him to the Society's Hall at Somerset House, to give 
an opinion upon a stone recently arrived from Egypt, with 
an inscription which had hitherto baffled all attempts to 
decipher It. The stone had been dug up by the French 
troops when at work in the trenches at Raschid, or Rosette, 
in Lower Egypt. In the reverses of the war, it fell into the 
hands of Sir Sydney Smith, and, greatly, to the mortification 
of the savans, had been -transmitted to England, and 
intrusted to the care of the Royal Society of Antiquarians. 
The block, somewhat mutilated, bore a triple inscription; 
one in Greek, a second in hieroglyphics, and the third in 
forms which had defied all the learning of London to 
unravel. I will now let Mr. Clarke . tell his own story, in 
writing home : 

" I have been very little out since I came here ; but, 
through Mr. Baynes, I have had all interview with the 

eminent men, etc., not only interesting to men of letters, but also 
to men of business. 

" It is strange that such a work should have been upwards of a 
hundred years published abroad, and yet never translated into Eng- 
lish. I refer to the Bib. Orient, of D'Herbelot, with the supplement 
of Visdelou and Galand. This book Cannot be translated by any 
man who has not a knowledge of the Arabic tongue, eto. I could 
add a thousand things to it, to make it what it should be. • • 
You know I have perseverance capable of running even a four years' 
heat on one course ; and I could soaroely hope to do this in less."— 


secretary of the R. S. of Antiquarians, who informed me 
that they had received from Egypt a curious stone with a 
threefold inscription : one, hieroglyphics ; the other, Greek ; 
and the third, utterly unknown. He offered to take me, and 
show it. 'All -of the literati,' said he, ' have been ; several 
members of the Asiatic Society, the famous Sanskrit scholar, 
Charles Wilkins, etc. ; and not one of them can find out the 
matter of the stone, nor the third inscription. Sir, it pours 
contempt upon all modern learning, and is a language that is 
utterly lost. As the Greek inscription shows that it relates 
to the deification of one of the Ptolemies, it is evidently 
several hundred years older than the Christian era. How- 
ever, if you choose, sir, you shall have the privilege of see- 
ing it.' He seemed to treat me with such a more than quan- 
tum sujfficit of hauteur, that I really did not wish to lay 
myself under so much obligation. He then said, ' If you 
are conversant in Greek, I can repeat part of the last lines 
of the inscription to you.' I bowed, and said nothing. ' He 
then began, and interpreted' as he went. Among many 
things he said, ' The stone is so hard that no instrument we 
have can cut it; and the inscription itself points this out, for 
the decree is that it should be cut on a hard stone ' — A. V : 
'Sir, I do not think, whatever quality the stone may be of, 
that orepebv here signifies hard. Its ideal and proper mean- 
ing iajirm; and it probably refers to the local establishment 
of the stone.' He was not filling to give up his own 
opinion, and the interview ended. 

"On Saturday morning I called upon Mr. Baynes, and 
found the Doctor had been there again inquiring for me, aud 
wishing me to meet him there at noon, and he would take mo 
to Somerset House. . The Doctor came at the 

appointed time, and behaved with less stiffness. We entered 
the coach. The conversation was chiefly about the stone and 
its indescribable inscription, with the contempt it poured, and 


so forth. He talked about Persian, and assured me we had 
derived many English 'words from it, and mentioned some. 
I mentioned others, I soon had the ground to myself. 
Arrived at Somerset House, I was led to th« apartment. 
Doctor. ' Here is the curious and ancient stone which Sir 
Sydney took from General Menou ; which he valued so much, 
that the French Government endeavored to make the restora- 
tion of it a part of the treaty.' I had only begun to look at 
the stone, when the member who is employed in making out 
the Greek inscription came in, I suppose by appointment. I 
viewed it silently for some time. Doctor. ' Well, sir, what 
do you think of it V A. 0. ' Why, sir, it is certainly very 
curious.' Dr. 'What do you think the stone is? Some 
suppose it to be porphyry, Others granite, but none are 
agreed.' A. ,0. 'Why, sir, it is neither porphyry nor 
granite ; it is basaltes." Dr. ' Basaltes, think you V A. C. 
' Yes, sir ; I am certain it is nothing but basaltes, interspersed 
with mica and quartz. I pledge myself it will strike fire 
with flint.' This produced some conversation, in which the 
other gentleman took a part; at last my opinion became cur- 
rent. I then measured the stone, and the Doctor took down 
the dimensions. Then the unknown inscription came into 
review. A. C. ' This inscription is Coptic,* and differs only 
from the printed Coptic in Wilkins's Testament, as printed 
Persian does from manuscript.' Thus was delivered into 
their hands a key by which the whole may be made out." 

From the treasures of Sanskrit and Hindoo literature, 
the Vedas,-Shastras, Pur&nas, and other symbolic books of 

* More correctly, Egyptian in the enchorial character. They 
might have seen that such' was the case from the words of the Greek 
inscription: " This document shall be engraved on a hard stone in 
Sacred, Enchorial, and Greek letters :" lepolc nal 'ErXQPlOII «ol 

'~F.Xkrivt.Kois ypd/i/iaoiv. , . 


the old Indian religion, Dr. Clarke enriched his common- 
place books with a great variety of remarkable extracts ; and 
especially from the Zend-Avesta and Baghavat-geeta ; which 
were afterward used with advantage in his commentaries on 
the Scriptures.* He made no pretensions to an acquaint- 
ance with the original'languages of those books, but availed 
himself of the translations of them which had been so far 
accomplished at that time by M. Anquetil du Perron, Sir 
William Jones, Dr. Charles Wilkins, and various writers in 
the "Asiatic Researches :" though I ought to observe, that 
subsequently (that is to say, in 1812, as I find by a memo- 
randum of his own) he entered for himself on the study of 
Sanskrit; and I believe found no small help in pursuing it 
from the two Indian priests who, as we shall see, were 
shortly after domiciled a considerable time in his family. 
But so far back as 1798 he was eagerly employed with the 
translated works. " I have read over the Ayven Akbery, 
and marked a number of curious things. I' never met with 
a better spirit than that of the author. It is a work of great 
labor and importance, and has more matter in it than four- 
score volumes. Will you be so kind as to inquire whether 
Mr. Wilkins, who translated the Baghavat-geeta. has finished 
the remainder? If this has been published, get it for me 
at any price. I have made large gleaning from the Bag- 
havat-geeta ; and 1 think tho rest would afford me a copious 
harvest. Do not lose a moment about it. When 

I -come to John's Gospel and Epistles, I shall need to consult 
all the Oriental writings I can procure. It is from them 
alone that his peculiar phrases can be interpreted. [Query.] 
Keep your eye about you. Maybe God may throw in our 
way an Ayeen Akbery, etc. I have at considerable expense 

* As, for example, on Matthew xxv., and the first chapter of Si. 


purchased the Zend-Avesta, attributed to Zoroaster, pub- 
lished by M. A. Du Perron." 

And again, in 1799 : " I thank you heartily. Before I 
knew any thing of your design, I purposed to Write to you 
concerning the Hedaiyah* but I almost despaired ofgetting 
it ; because I thought, like the Ayeerf Alcbery, it was one of 
those phoenix books which are rarely to be seen. While 
purposing to write, I was agreeably surprised by the receipt 
of it. In the customs and manners alluded to in the Scrip- 
tures, all these books will be uncommonly useful. In this 
respect the Ayeen Ahbery, Baghavat-geeta, Institutes of 
Menu, and the Hedaiyah, are invaluable. I have read the 
three former, and have marked every plape that suits my pur- 
pose. The Hedaiyah I am now beginning." 

Once more, 1799 : " Last week a bookseller came to me 
from Bath, with a lot of MSS. One is a large thick octavo, 
a Hindoo and Persian Dictionary ; another, a small octavo; 
is a compilation from the Mahdbhdrata, containing about, six 
hundred pages; another is a very thick folio, containing 
about fifteen or sixteen hundred pages, and is either the 
whole or a very large part of the Mahdbhdrata translated 
from the Sanskrit into Persian. The" Mahdbhdrata contains 
one hundred and sixty thousand couplets in the original, 
and is the most invaluable work in the East. From it the 
Geeta was translated by Mr. Wilkins ; -a work next in dig- 
nity and importance to the Bible. [?] He left them with me 
to look at them, and marked the three for nine guineas, but 
has since sent me word that he must have four mete. Mr. 
Stock, who saw the MSS. the, evening they came, begged to 
purchase the great folio for his friend, A. C. Now, do you 
think I should give the £A 4s. more than he asked me ? Mr. 

* Hamilton's Translation of the Hedaiyah, or Commentary on the 
Laws of Islam. Four volumes. 


Fox will be glad to have the other two. If I send them 
back, I shall lose the Mah&bhdrata ; and this I should not 
like, as it comes to me in a providential way," 

But, while making these wide excursions into the regions 
of foreign philology, Dr. Clarke was not unmindful of the 
claims of his own mother-tongue. A fervent admirer of 
the English language, he made himself master of its vast 
capabilities, by an intimate acquaintance with its structure, 
and with the sources of those various elements of which it 
is composed. He had carefully read the homely fathers of 
our English theology and history in their own Anglo-Saxon ; 
and this, together with his knowledge of the Semitic and 
Indo-European tongues, (especially Persian and Sanskrit,) as 
well as the earlier Continental dialects, enabled him to arrive 
at the true origines of the English speech, and to explain its 
peculiar phenomena. Among his Anglo-Saxon treasures, 
he set particular value on a manusoript translation of the 
Bible, of which he has availed himself with advantage in 
many parts of the Commentary. 




With a mind devoutly intent on attaining the knowledge 
of the good, Mr. Clarke sought it out, not only in the fading 
pages of human literature, hut in the enduring registries 
traced by the Creator himself on the immeasurable universe. 
For science, truly so called, he cherished an instinctive and 
ever-growing love. He believed, with St. Paul, that " the 
invisible things of God from the creation of the world are 
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
even his eternal power and divinity :" their immenseneas 
showing his omnipotence; their vast variety and fitnesses, his 
omniscience and love ; and their preservation, the reign of 
his everlasting providence. So that, as he expresses it in his 
notes on the first chapter to the Romans, " Creation and Pro- 
vidence form a twofold demonstration of God." In those, 
too, on the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews,, 
he enters more largely on this subject, and condenses the rich 
results of broad and deep investigation. 

From a child he had been moved by that " desire" which 
the inspired moralist speaks of, as impelling one who feels 
it to " separate himself," that he may " intermeddle with all 
knowledge." " I was always," said he, " a curious lad, and 
extremely inquisitive. If a stone was thrown up into the air, 
I wished to know why it came down with a greater force than 


it ascended ; why some bodies were hard, and others soft ; 
and what it was that united various bodies. I was intent in 
gazing at the stars, and in singling out one from another. I 
obtained the loan of an old spy-glass ; and with it, often with- 
out hat, and bare-legged, I sallied out on a clear frosty night 
to make observations on the moon and stars. Since that 
period I have been constantly learning, and still know but 
little either of heaven or earth." 

In those boyish days, in common with many who have to 
do with rural work, the atmosphere claimed a good deal of 
his attention ; and, from incessant observation, he became a 
practical meteorologist. In a paper in the " Wesleyan Mag- 
azine" for 1824, entitled "A Fair and Foul Weather Prog- 
hosticatof," he takes occasion to revert to those juvenile 
lessons received in the school 01 nature : " I do not remem- 
ber the time in which I was unconcerned about the changes 
of the weather. From my childhood I was bred up on a 
little farm, whjch I was taught to care for ever since I was 
able to spring the rattle, use the whip, manage the sickle, or 
handle the spade ; and, as I found that much of success de- 
pended on a proper knowledge of the weather, I was led to 
study it from eight years of age. Meteorology is a natural 
science, and one of the first to be studied. Every child in 
the country makes, untaught, some progress in it. I had 
learned by silent observation to form good conjectures about 
the coming weather, and on this head to teach wisdom 
among them that were perfect, but who had not been obliged, 
like me, to watch earnestly that what was so* necessary to the 
family-support should not be spoiled by the weather before 
it was housed. Many a time, even in tender youth, have I 
watched' the heavens with anxiety, examined the different 
appearances Of the morning and evening sun, the phases of 
the moon, the scintillation of the stars, the course and color 
of the clouds, the flight of the crow and the swallow, the 

336 LIJFE or THE 

gambols of the colt, the fluttering of the ducks, and the loud 
screams of the sea-mews ; not forgetting even the hue and 
croaking of the frog. From the little knowledge derived 
from close observation, I often ventured to direct our agri- 
cultural operations' in reference to the coming days, and was 
seldom much mistaken in the reckoning." 

This weather-wise philosopher of the fields — who is 8u 
restless to know the great secret of nature that he must 
needs sally forth bare-headed, with naked feet, into the silent 
night, to send his questions to the moon and stars — grew up 
into adolescence in the same mind, and may next be seen 
bending a face which religion had now lit with a solemn in- 
telligence over the pages of Derham and Ray. "As he was 
told by the highest authority that ' the heavens declare the 
glory of God,' and as mere inspection filled him with wonder 
without giving him the information he wanted, he wished 
to gain some acquaintance with astronomy. 
About this time a friend lent him that incomparable work 
of Dr. Derham, the 'Astro -Theology,' which he read in 
union with . the Bible at all spare times of day and night. 
Ray's ' Wisdom of God in the Creation' gave him still more 
knowledge, and directed him to the study of natural' phi- 
losophy. All these things were the means of establishing 
his soul in the thorough belief of the truth; so that his 
faith stood not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of 

In his novitiate in the ministry, he read whatever he 
could get, in ' the department of natural science, with a 
never-flagging relish. Down in Cornwall, in addition to 
some chemical works, he had the use of a medical gentle- 
man's laboratory; and at Plymouth he obtained from a 
naval friend a copy of Chambers's Encyclopaedia, with 

. * Autobiography. 


which, "a library in itself," he spent almost every spare 
half-hour. Here his philosophical taste was gratified, and 
knowledge gained apace. Of Chambers he never spoke with- 
out commendation. 

But these were only beginnings of wisdom, first steps in a 
pathway which became more sunlit as he advanced, led up 
from nature to nature's God. In the Channel Islands he 
read many scientific books ; and at Trinity College, Dublin, 
had the opportunity of attending the courses on Chemistry 
and Anatomy. At the Surrey Institution he found immense 
delight as well as profit in the lectures and experiments of 
the professors, who were among the most able men of the 
day ; and with what fruit those advantages were improved 
appears in his enriched edition of Sturm's " Reflections on 
the Works of God," and the innumerable illustrations of the 
nature -science of the Bible in his expository writings. 
Among his own collections in natural history, there was one 
of minerals, which has been seldom excelled by private per- 
sons — including not only the metallic productions, but also 
some very choice specimens of the precious stones. 

We have before intimated that Dr. Clarke had always a 
yearning for the recondite in nature ; a disposition which led 
him to diverge sometimes from the orthodox chemical science 
of modern times into the now almost forgotten by-paths of 
the old alchemists. We have seen how, when a mere boy, 
he tried to master the "Occult Philosophy" of Cornelius 
Agrippa. In, his earlier, itinerant years he tells us that " he 
read several alchemistic authors, the perusal of which was 
recommended to him by a friend* who was much devoted to 
such studies ; and he also went through several of the initia- 
tory operations recommended by professed adepts in that 
science. This study was the means of greatly eularging his 

* Dr. Twentyman, the physician of Port Isaac, Cornwall. 


views on the operations of nature, as he saw many wonders 
performed by chemical agency." It may surprise the reader 
that he took pains to wade through Basil Valentine, George 
Ripley, Philalethes, Nicholas Flammel, Artephius, Geber, 
Paracelsus, the Hermeti6al Triumph, all the writers in 
Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, etc. ; not 
with the hope of finding the philosopher's stone, but rerum 
cognoscere causas, to see nature in her own laboratory. 

Among the few men who have followed such pursuits in 
modern times, Mr. Clarke became acquainted with one in 
Dublin, of whom he has left some memoranda too curious 
not to be transcribed. One Sabbath morning, preaching in 
Whitefriars' Street Chapel on Isaiah i. 25, 26, "And I will 
turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, 
and take away all thy tin," etc., he mentioned, by way of ex- 
plaining the metaphor, the method by which the dross is 
separated from the silver in the process of refining, and made 
some observations on the nature and properties of metals, 
tending to throw light on the subject he was discussing. A 
gentleman eminent as a man of science was present on that 
occasion, whose name was Hand ; who had for some time 
been a resolute and unwearied experimentist in the problems 
of alchemy — in fact, a serious expectant of finding the grand 
secret itself. The sermon arrested his attention ; and, from 
the turn of phraseology employed by the preacher, he was 
sure that in Mr. Clarke he could know a man like-minded 
with himself, and one who had travelled on the same track 
as that which, he believed, might conduct them both to 
wealth and immortality. He sought an introduction; and 
if, on becoming acquainted with the learned preacher, he 
did not find a devotee to the mysterious art as thorough as 
himself, he nevertheless found one who, as an inquirer into 
the arcana of nature, was glad to spend an hour occasionally 
with him in his laboratory. The memorandums to which I 


have referred are two letters from this gentleman to Mr. 
Clarke, after the latter had removed from Dublin to Man- 
chester. In the first he makes the following remarkable 
recital : 

"The second of November last, came to my house two 
men : one I thought to be a priest, and yet believe so ; the 
other, a plain, sedate-looking man. They asked for me. 
As soon as I went to them, the last-mentioned person said he 
had ' called to see some of my stained glass, and hoped, as he 
was curious, I would permit him to call and see me now and 
then.' Of course I said, I should be happy. After much 
conversation he began to speak of metals and alchemy, ask- 
ing me if I had ever read any books of that kind ; (but I 
believe he well knew I had.) After some compliments on 
my ingenious art, they went away. At twelv.e o'clock the 
next day he came himself, without the priest, and told me 
he had a little matter that would stain glass the very color I 
wanted, and which I could never get; i. e., a deep blood-red. 
Said he, ' If you have a furnace hot, we will do it ; for the 
common fire will not do well.' I replied, ' Sir, I have not 
one hot; but, if you will please to come with me, I will show 
you my little laboratory, and will tret one lighted.' When 
we came out, he looked about him and said, ' Sir, do not de- 
ceive me : you are an alchemist.' ' Why do you think that, 
sir V ' Because you have as many foolish vessels as I have 
seen with many others engaged in that study.' ' I have,' I 
answered, ' worked a long time at it without gain, and should 
be glad to be better instructed.' ' Do you believe the art ?' 
' Yes, sir.' ' Why V ' Because I jr'tvc credit to many good 
and pious men.' He smiled. 'Will you have this air- 
furnace lighted V I did so: he then asked for a bit of glass, 
opened a box, and turned aside, laid a little red powder on 
the glass with a penknife, put the glass with the powder on 
it into the fire, and when hot took it out, and the glass was 


like blood ! ' Have you scales ?' I got them for him, and 
some lead : he weighed two ounces : he then put four grains 
of a very white powder in a bit of wax, and when the lead 
was melted, put this into it, and then raised the fire for a 
little while, took it out, and oast it into water : never was 
finer silver in the world ! I exclaimed, [uttering also the 
sacred name,] ' Sir, you amaze me.' ' Why,' he replied, ' do 
you call upon God ? Do you think he has any hand in 
these things ?' ' In all good things, sir,' I said. 'Ah, 
friend, God will never reveal those things to man. . Did you 

ever learn any magic V ' No, sir.' ' Get you then : 

he will instruct you. But I will lend you a book, and will 
get you acquainted with a friend that will help you to know- 
ledge. Did you ever see the devil V ' No, sir ; and trust I 
never shall.' . ' Would you be afraid ?' ' Yes.' ' Then you 
need not : he harms no one ; he is every ingenious man's 
friend. Shall I show you something?' 'Not if it is any 
thing of that kind.' ' It is not, sir. Please to get me a glass 
of clean water.' I did so. He pulled out a bottle, and 
dropped a red liquor into it, and said something I did not 
understand. The water was all .in a blaze of fire, and a mul- 
titude of little live things like lizards moving about in it. I 
was in great fear. This he perceived, took the glass, and 
flung it into the ashes, and all was over. ' Now, sir,' said he, 
' if you will enter into a vow with me, as I see you are an 
ingenious man, I will let you know more than you will ever 
find out.' This I declined, being fully convinced it was of 
the devil ; and it is now I know the meaning of ' coming im- 
properly by the secret.' After sonre little time he said he 
must go, and would call again, when I should think better of 
his offer. He left me the two ounces of lead." 

From the second letter : " I have not seen the individual. 
I have used a quarter of an ounce of the silver in my own 
work, and have sold the remainder for pure silver. The 


metal was in fusion; and when the powder was put in, 
which was in size not larger than the head of a lady's hat- 
pin, the lead in a moment became like some dried powder or 
calx : the fire was then raised to melt it again, which was of 
a heat to melt any silver. In about a quarter of an hour he 
said, ' It is in perfect flux.' He took it out, and cast it into 
the water, and you never saw finer silver in your life. I 
have heard too much of the tricks of alchemists, and was too 
attentive to all that passed, for any man or devil to deceive 
me in this. [?] 

" When I mentioned the name of God, he smiled with a 
kind of contempt. The glass of water was a common tum- 
bler, and he said something as he was putting it in, and 
looked very sternly at me. The blaze did not take place the 
moment he put the red liquid in, but little flashes in the 
water, and a strong smell of sulphur — so much so, that I 
thought some had fallen into the furnace ; but that was not 
the case. The glass soon became all on fire, like, spirits of 
wine burning; and a number of little creatures became visi- 
ble, exactly like lizards. Some of them moved their heads 
almost to the top of the glass, and I saw them as distinctly 
as I ever saw any thing. He observed me tremble ; and I 
exclaimed, ' Christ save me !' On his flinging the water with 
the lizards under the grate, I looked to sec if I could 
observe them there. . He said, ' They are gone.' ' Where V 
' From whence they came.' ', Where is that V ' O, you 
must not know all things at once.' ' Why, sir, I believe this 
is magic. You conld, I have no doubt, raise the devil, if 
you liked.' ' Would you be afraid ?' ' Yes, sir ; I hope to 
be saved from having any thing to do with him.' He 
replied, ' You are a very ingenious man, Mr. Hand ; and 1 
wish you to be better acquainted with nature, and the things 
in this curious world; through which I have almost been, and 
have more knowledge than most I have met with ; and yet I 

342 LIFE t> F THE 

know many wonderful men.' ' Do you know any person, «ir, 
who has the red stone ?' 'I do; multitudes.' ' I wish I 
knew some.' 'You shall, and the whole secret' 'Sir, you 
are very good.' ' But you must know that we are all linked, 
like a chain ; and you must go under a particular ceremony 
and a vow.' 'I will vow to (!od, sir,' I replied, 'that I will 
never divulge' — Here he stopped me, and said, I was ' going 
beyond the question/ and appeared vexed. He said the vow 
must be made before another, and [added] with an angry 
tone, ' It is no matter to you whether it be before God or the 
devil, if you get the art.' 

" Then, indeed, my dear friend, I saw almost into his 
inmost soul. I grew all on fire, and said, ' I will never 
receive any thing, not even the riches of the world, but from 
God alone.' ' O, sir,' he replied, 'you seem to be angry with 
me : my intention was to serve you. You are not acquainted 
with me, or you would rather embrace than offend me.' 

" Much more conversation passed. He spoke of , 

and many other such books, and said he would lend me one. 
After some time he added, he would leave me to reflect on 
the subject, and he would call again. He had told me that 
there was but one way on earth of knowing the transmuta- 
tion of metals; and of that he said I knew noljiing. 

" You did not tell me if Mr is still in Manchester. 

7 wonder he would not acknowledge to you that he had the 
art, and how. If he is still in Manchester, tell him of a 
distressed brother, and perhaps he will give me light." 

From the third letter : " Since I wrote to you last, I have 
seen the man. I said, ' How do you do, sir V He replied, 
'Sir, I have not the honor of knowing you.' 'Do you not 
remember/ said I, ' the person who stains glass, and to whom 
you were so kind as to show some experiments?' 'No, sir; 
you are mistaken/ and he turned red in the face. ' Sir/ I 
answered, ' if I am mistaken, I beg your pardon for telling 


you that I was never right in any thing in my life, and 
never shall be.' 'Sir, you are mistaken, and I wish you 
good morning.' He several times turned round to look after 
me ; but, be assured, I never saw a man if that one was not 
the one who was with me. I intend to inquire and find him, 
or who he is : of this I am determined. 

"I am at work again, and building a digesting-furnace, 
exactly after Philalethes, with a tower to contain charcoal 
sufficient to last twenty-four hours. I will have it to give 
any degree of heat I please. So, you see, I cannot have 
done ; nor will I, while I have even a little to enable me to 
proceed. I spend nothing in any other amusement, so that 
I may do something at this; that, if God pleases, I may 
have a little to spare to do good with." 

Mr. Clarke, in his correspondence with this honest enthu- 
siast, did not forget to urge upon him the necessity of 
obtaining the true riches, " than gold and pearls more pre- 
cious far," and of seeking that wondrous transmutation of 
mind and heart which no power can effect but the grace of 
the Eternal Spirit. He warned him against the inordinate 
desire of wealth ; and exhorted him, in a diligent attendance 
on the house of God, the reading of his word, and the com- 
munion of his people in class-meeting, to work oyt his salva- 
tion. Mr. Hand died in peace, somewhat suddenly. Thero 
was good reason to believe that his acquaintance with Mr. 
Clarke had led him to tljat "secret of the Lord/' that 
"knowledge of the Holy," which is the true elixir of immor- 
tal life, the key to treasures incorruptible, 

These aerial excursions into the cloud-land of alchemy 
only gave Mr. Clarke a greater value for a standing on the 
solid ground of true science. He was ■disposed to look with 
a suspicious eye upon whatever was wanting in demonstrative 
evidence; and, on that account, he never heartily concurred 
with the doctrines of what was then the new school of the 


geologists. It should be remembered, however, that geology 
■was then, as a science, only in an inchoate (not to say, a 
chaotic) state ; and, moreover, that infidelity, though foiled 
in the attempt, had endeavored to make an instrument of it 
for the promotion of its own injurious ends. Dr. Clarke was 
only one of many good and learned men who, on those 
grounds, set their faces against what they considered a new- 
fangled, fantastic, and mischievous delusion. But we are 
bold to affirm, that, had he lived to our days, (in which the 
true science of geology has emerged from its inceptive con- 
fusion, has shaken itself free from these skeptical tendencies, 
and, instead of becoming the adversary of the Bible, has 
proved itself rather a confirming witness of its truth, and 
an interpreter of its words,) he would have regarded it with 
very different sentiments. 

It was an axiom with him, that " speculative truth can 
never be alien from practical wisdom." He held that all 
knowledge is valuable, and that a minister of the gospel may 
find a use for every species of information. Thus, When a 
young preacher once asked' him whether he would advise him 
to study mineralogy, he promptly replied, " By all means : a 
Methodist preacher should know every thing. Partial 
knowledge, on any branch of science or business, is better 
than total ignorance. To have a variety of subjects of study 
will, instead of exhausting the mind, minister to its invigo- 
ration; for, when wearied with one, (he surest' means of 
refreshment is to have recourse to another." "The old 
adage of ' Too many irons in the fire,' " said he, " contains 
an abominable lie. You cannot have too many— poker, 
tongs, and all, keep them all going !" 

Dr. Clarke's learning was subservient to one design— to 
know God, and to make him known. He carried the spirit 
of the theologian into all his inquiries, and it was as a divine 
that he reached his highest glory. In the direct study -of 


theology his main book was the Bible. That with him was 
the fons et origo of all religious truth. All his reading had 
a bearing upon the eluoidation of the Scriptures. His im- 
mense library, amounting at last to about ten thousand printed 
volumes, and a large collection of ancient and Oriental man- 
uscripts, formed (as we may say) one vast commentary on the 
sacred book. In this large collection of works, it is remarka- 
ble that the writings of the Puritans, English sermon-writers, 
and English divines in general, formed a comparatively in- 
considerable part. In fact, he did not read much in that 
line. He felt that to understand, believe, and live the Bible, 
insured him an endless supply of reflection and sentiment 
which made him independent of them all. He liked Baxter 
and Howe, and a few more, but never leaned upon them. 
As to Dr. Owen, sometimes called "the prince of English 
theologians." he estimated him in some respects very cheaply. 
In one of his letters to Hugh Stuart Boyd he gives his 
opinion of Owen, which some readers may wish to see : 

"Now about Owen. 1. He was a good scholar. 2. A 
rigid Calvinist. 3. A very good man. 4. A voluminous 
writer. 5. A very indifferent critic. But in this he was 
excusable, because the nrs critira was in his time in its cradle. 
The morality of the gospel was sacred with him. He saw 
and bewailed the Antinomianism that was spreading in his 
day, and wrote strongly against it. As a writer, I know him 
chiefly from his Considerations on the Polyglot, and his 
voluminous comment on the Hebrews. To some I should 
seem a heretio were I to pronounce those writings clumsy, 
inelegant, obscure, and overwhelmed with verbiage He 
sometimes spends forty pages to explain what even in his own 
way might be dispatched in as many lines His sense and 
meaning he drowns in a world of words. To me he is one 
of the most unsatisfactory writers. As to his book on the 
Hebrews, I would rather a hundred times do my work myself, 


than watch him going a hundred miles about in order to 
come back to the next door.* I should think 

it is impossible for such a man to write clearly on any sub- 
ject. He cannot condense his meaning, and never comes to 
the point but by the most intolerable circumlocution. 
I have heard a good character of his work on the Holy Spirit, 
but I am so completely sick with wading through his He- 
brews, that I shall never have courage to encounter him 
again. He attempted to answer John Goodwin's 'Redemp- 
tion Redeemed/ but, from what I have seen of this, he is 
like a mouse under the paws of a lion. Goodwin was a 
thorough logician, and there were no odds and ends about his 
mind. I do not, however, search any of their works for in- 
formation on the great doctrines of the gospel. Where we 
agree, I find they can add' nothing to me ; and I have de- 
fended and proved the same truths by modes of reasoning of 
which they appear to have never thought. I do 

not find in the whole universe of writing, from the earliest 
Fathers down to the lowest Puritans, so clear, consistent, and 
comprehensive a view of the great doctrines of salvation as 
that held and taught by the Methodists." 

On the other hand, in patristic theology Dr. Clarke had 
read widely. The preparation of that useful work of his, 
"A concise Account of Sacred Literature," required a per- 
sonal examination of the works of the Fathers, which resulted 
in an acquaintance with them sufficiently familiar to enable 
him to refer at any time to them for an evidence, an argu- 
ment, or an illustration. With such of the great theologians 

.* Eobert Hall was of the same opinion. "As a reasoner," says he, 
"Owen is most illogical ; for he always takes for granted what he 
ought to prove, while he is always proving what he ought to take for 
granted ; and, after a long digression, he concludes very properly 
with, 'This is not our concernment;' and returns to enter on some- 
thing still farther from the point. "^- Life, by Gregory, p. 120. 


of the Continent as wrote in Latin and French, he had also 
an extensive intercourse. But the books he loved the most 
were those which bore most intimately upon the one Book. 
Like Martin Luther, he was "a doctor of the Holy Scrip- 
tures ;" in the most eminent sense of the term, a biblical divine. 

To attain, while pursuing the toilsome avocation of a 
Methodist preacher's life, such stores of erudition, and to 
dispense them in his numerous works for the promotion of 
knowledge and religion in his own and future generations, 
demanded an intensity of zeal r and a heroism of perseverance, 
which excite our reverence and admiration. Such a man 
reminds us of a sublime passage in Ezekiel, where the 
prophet, describing the characteristics of the intellectual 
agents employed in effecting the great revolutions of Provi- 
dence, tells us that each of them had the fourfold visage of the 
eagle, the ox, the lion, and the man ; as symbolical of eleva- 
tion of purpose, patience in labor, courage which dominates 
over all opposition, and love which sanctifies all. 

One secret by which he achieved so much was the careful 
redemption of time. With him the nii^ht was for repose, but 
the day was for labor; and his day bejjan at the beginning. 
Like Milton, he was up "in summer with the bird that first 
rises, and in the winter before the sound of any bell ;" but, 
unlike the Penseroso of the same great poet, he would not say, 

" Let my lamp at midnight hour 
Be seen in some high lonely tower ; 
Where I may oft outwatch the Bear, 
With thriee great Hermes, or unsphcre 
The spirit of Plato, to unfold 
What worlds or what vast regions hold 
Th' immortal mind that hath forsook 
Her mansion in this fleshly nook ; 
And of those demons that are found 
In Are, air, flood, or under ground, 
Whose power hath a true consent 
With planet, or with element." 

348 LIFE F T H E 

However he might have desired with the poet to know 
these mysteries, Adam Clarke would certainly have ohjected 
to watch all the night in learning them. He was ever of 
opinion that late studies, when early ones are given up 
for them, are disadvantageous as to the comparative amount 
of work done, as well as destructive of the health and life of 
the agent. He called this night-toil "burning out the candle 
of life at both ends."* But the hours of the day he was most 
assiduous in improving; and though he could not say with 
Budaeus, that " the only day he lost in his life was that on 
which he was married, for on that day he could only read six 
hours," yet very few men have lost fewer days than Dr. 
Clarke. For, even when obliged to leave home on a journey, 
he would carry with him the materials for reading and writing, 
and still work, by the way, on the coach, or at the inn. lor 
long journeys he had what he termed his "portable library," 
packed into a convenient case, divided into compartments, for 
a small copy of the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, Greek Testa- 
ment, English Bible, Common Prayer Book, Virgil, and 
Horace. He carried his ink-bottle suspended from his neck 
by a riband, and lodged in his waistcoat pocket. 

Diligence like this, actuated • and sustained for more, than 
half a century by love to the God of truth, and zeal for the 
salvation of souls, led to results which have lifted up his 
name among those of the true benefactors of mankind. We 

* A catalogue having been sent to him late one evening, he saw' 
among the books advertised a copy of the first edition of Erasmus's 
Greek Testament : early/ on the following morning he went off and 
bought it. A few hours after, a well-known literary- man, Dr. Gos- 
sett, came to the Row in quest of the same book. Learning that Dr. 
Clarke had purchased it, he called on him and requested to see it. 
Gossett: "You have been fortunate: but how you got the book 
before me I am at a loss to imagine, for I was at Baynes's directly 
after breakfast." Clarke: " But I was there before breakfast." 


in his exemplary life how a large amassment of good may 
ue from small beginnings. Like the river, which, rising, 
eble streamlet, in some lonely waste, deepens and widens 
he accession of stream after stream, as it rolls onward in 
fertilizing course, till it vanishes in the grandeur of the 
n, the intellectual and religious career of this faithful 
wise servant, who learned that he might teach, and who 
;ht that men might be saved and God glorified, was a 
p-ess in which strength was added to strength, and bless- 
to blessing. 

I said, I will water my garden, 

I will abundantly water my garden-bed ; 

And, lo, my brook became a river, 

And my river, a sea : 

Therefore will I make Doctrine to shine like the morning, 

And will reveal it to those who are afar ; 

I will pour forth Instruction as prophecy, 

And will leave it for generations to come': 

For, behold, I have not labored for myself alone, 

But for all who inquire after Truth."* 

* Joshua Ben Sira : Mashalim, c. 4. 


preacher or au author, show the result. Those toilsome sea- 
sons of intellectual tillage yielded, and are still yielding, har- 
vests unto life eternal. 

The characteristic of his literary works is instructive- 
ness. If he wrote, it was because he had something to tell 
you worth your knowing. Hence his pages are crowded 
with information, and that which has. generally a bearing on 
the personal welfare of the reader. As to style, he is per- 
fectly unpretending ; if not ornate, still never commonplace 
or unpleasant;, and, though plain, yet often solemnly for- 
cible. The -staid self-possession and dignity of the scholar 
are blended with the gracious dispositions of the Christian. 
Such, indeed, are the intrinsic reality and value of what he 
is telling you, that you become insensible to the manner in 
which it is told. You have the feeling, while reading, that 
the author who is absorbing your attention .more and more 
is an honest and earnest man, who is bent on doing you good 
for time an'd eternity. Such is the good spirit which breathes 
in these works, that a person who reads much of them will 
get to feel toward the writer as if he were a personal friend, 
or a wise and loving father. 

The Doctor's writings arc so voluminous, and our limits so 
restricted, that we can do little more In the present chapter 
than indicate the subjects which he has treated. 

With the exception of a few papers written for tho 
Magazine, nothing had appeared from his pen (bearing his 
own name) before 1707 ; when he published "A Dissertation 
on the Use and Abuse of Tobacco"— an essay which, it must 
be- confessed, is well argued and well written. It abounds 
with useful and curious information, botanical, medical, and 
historical; and, in relation to tho purposc'which the author 
had at heart in writing it — to offer a warning against the in- 
discriminate use of tobacco — ho has said what well merits the 
attention of its votaries. The recent discussions which have 

352 LIFE 01* THE 

been so extensively carried % on in " The Lancet" and other* 
publications, on the same subject, hawe given the strongest 
scientific corroboration to the view which Mr. Clarke takes 
of the injurious effects, both physical arid m6ral, which fol- 
low the immoderate Use of the fragrant but seductive and 
dangerous leaf. It should be .added, that this pamphlet has 
been the means of doing much good, in fulfilling to some ex- 
tent the wishes of the author. " 

His next considerable venture was an improved translation 
of Sturm's "Reflections on the Being and Attributes of God, 
and on His Works both in Nature and Providence ;" a 
popular work, too well known to need, any description here. 
Though the translator worked upon a French edition, so pro- 
ducing a version of a version, yet he had carefully collated 
his exemplar with the German original, to T)e satisfied as to 
its correctness.' % It is to be regretted that he did not do this 
with thetfirst German edition, as that is enriched with many 
beautiful devotional verses, which are not given in the 
French translation.* Still, he preferred the latter as his 
text, on account of many substantial improvements in it 
For it was Mr. Clarke's purpose, not >so much to give a 

* I transcribe a specimen of these godd old verses : . 
Fluchtig ist die edle &eit, 
Gross tind unsre pflichten ; 
Lehr uns fur die Ewigkeit, 
Jede weu verrichten, 
Jede fromme gute That 
Lass uns wohl gelingen, 
Frucht lass jede Tugendsaat 
Fiir den Himmel bringen. — Jan. 1. 

Wir leben hier zur Ewigkeit, 
Zu thun was uns der Herr gebeut ; 
Und unsire Lebens kleinsfer Theil 
1st eine Frist zu unserm HeU. — Jan. 2. 


literal translation of Sturm, as to provide a book of religious 
meditations as good as he could make it. He has accordingly 
augmented the work with a variety of matter, scientific and 
devotional, giving it high rank among works of the class in 
the English or any other language. The manuscript, in Mr. 
Clarke's bold handwriting, may be seen in the library of the 
W^esleyan College at Richmond. 

A similar undertaking was a translation of Fleury's 
"Treatise on the Manners of the Ancient Israelites; contain- 
ing an Account of their Customs, Ceremonies, Laws, Polity, 
Religion, Sects, Arts, and Trades ; their Division of Time, 
Wars, Captivities, Dispersion, and present State." Claude 
Fleury was Abbe" of Argenteuil, and a member of the Royal 
Academy; a man of piety and learning. His work has 
always been a favorite one with good men of every Church. 
Bishop Home, in giving it his hearty recommendation, says 
that " it is an excellent introduction to the reading of the 
Old Testament, and should be put into the hands of every 
young person."* Mr. Clarke may be said to have published 
a new edition, rather than a new translation, of this pleasing 
manual; as he took for his text the translation published in 
1756, by Ellis Farneworth, though made in reality by Thomas 
Bedford, of Compton, Derbyshire. In acknowledging this, 
he says he was convinced that a better one on the whole could 
scarcely be hoped for, the language being pure and elogant, 
and the spirit and unction of the original excellently pre- 
served. As in the case of Sturm, the editor enriched the 
book with many important additions. 

A more formidable work was now in progress — the Biblio- 
graphical Dictionary, in six volumes ; the first of which 
issued from the press in 1802, and the last two years later. 
In this elaborate compilation he gives a chronological 

* Discourses, vol. i. 

354 LIFE or THE 

account of the most curious, scarce, and important books in 
all departments of literature : Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Coptic, 
Syriac, -Chaldee, Ethiopic, Arabic, Persian, and Armenian ; 
from the infancy of printing to the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century. In doing this, he has condensed the most 
valuable materials treasured up in many expensive works : as 
Le Long's Bibliotheca Sacra; Maittaire's Annates Typo- t 
graphici ; Vogt's Catalogus Historico-Criticus ; Marchand's 
Histoire de V Origine et des Progres de Vlmprimcrie ; De 
Bure's Bibliographie Instructive ; Meerman's Origines 
Typographicse ; Osmont's Dictionnaire Typographique, 
Historique et Critique des Livres Rares ; De Rossi's Appa- 
ratus Biblicus ; Cailleau's Dictionnaire Typographique; 
Panzer's Annates Typographies; Heinsius's Allgemxina 
Biicher Lexicon ; Bowyer's " Origin of Printing," and Gar- 
wood's " View of the Classics" — which last he has trans- 
ferred, bodily, into his work. The dry details of book-craft 
are relieved by biographical notices and anecdotes of the 
most eminent authors, and critical judgments of their pro- 
ductions. On the editions of. the Holy Scriptures, both 
separately and in the Polyglot collections, the Dictionary is 
of especial value. Great attention is also paid to the classi- 
cal authors in Greek and Latin. In ' the department of 
Rabbinical literature, we do not find the amount of informa- 
tion which might have been expected ; and the same failure 
may be observed in most of the above works which Mr. 
Clarke took as his authorities. In following years he kept a 
steady eye on an improved and enlarged edition, for which he 
noted down some thousands of additions and amendments. 

In 1806 he published a Supplement to the Dictionary, 
with the title of the "Bibliographical Miscellany," in two 
volumes; in the first of which may be found, 1. An account 
of the English translations of all the Greek and Roman 
classics and ecclesiastical writers, with critical remarks, from 


the best authorities ; and, 2. An extensive list of Arabic and 
Persian grammars, lexicons, and elementary treatises ; with 
a description of the principal works of the best Arabic and 
Persian writers, whether printed or in manuscript, with such 
English translations of them as had been hitherto accom- 

The second volume is equally a " Miscellany." It opens 
with remarks on the origin of language and of alphabetical 
characters, and then gives a short history of the origin of 
printing, and the introduction and perfection of the art in 
Italy ; a catalogue of authors on Bibliography and Typogra- 
phy, in four classes ; an alphabetical list of all the cities and 
towns where printing was carried on in the fifteenth century, 
with the title of the first book printed in each place Then 
follow an Essay on Bibliography, which dilates on the know- 
ledge and love of books, and an account of several biblio- 
graphical systems; exhibiting the proper method of arranging 
books in a large library. It will be perceived that this work 
has great attractions for reading men ; and its value is yet 
enhanced to the student, by copious tables of the Olympiads, 
the Roman calendar, and the Mohammedan Hegira and 

Though the Bibliographical Dictionary had a very encour- 
aging sale, it has never been reprinted. Large materials 
were left by Dr. Clarke for an improved edition. He had 
intended also to supply the deficiencies of the Dictionary, by 
a supplementary work of the same kind on the literature of 
the modern European languages. 

While these works were yet in hand, his active pen threw 
off several minor pieces, which were eagerly read at the time, 
and will always reward the attention of those who are 
interested in the subjects of which they treat. Among 
them were two polemical pieces against M. Du Perron, 
occasioned by that gentleman's attack on the literary 


characters of Sir William Jones, and Mr. William Hunter, 
of Bengal; a Dissertation on the Silver Disc in the 
Cabinet of Antiquities in Paris, commonly called " Scipio's 
Buckler ;" a curious Essay on Witchcraft ; two very useful 
Compendiums of the various Editions of the Polyglot 
Bibles, and of the Greek Testament ; and a critical Disserta- 
tion on the Text of the Three Divine Witnesses, 'with fac- 
similes of 1 John v. 7-9, as they stand in the first edition 
of the New Testament printed at Complutum in 1514, and 
in the Codex Montfortii — a manuscript in the library of 
Trinity College, Dublin. 

The conductors of the Eclectic Review, which was estab- 
lished in 1804, wished, at the very outset of their under- 
taking, to secure Mr. Clarke as a regular contributor, 
especially in the Biblical and Oriental branches ; and, in 
compliance with their pressing invitation, he prepared for 
the opening number a review of Granville Sharp's Tracts 
on the Hebrew Language, and Yates's Hebrew Grammar. 
And subsequently, from time to time, he Wrote for that 
periodical articles of so much intrinsic value, that we rejoice 
to find them embodied in a permanent form in the tenth 
volume of his Miscellaneous Works. They comprise 
Reviews of Sir William Jones's Persian Grammar, Bell's 
Greek Grammar, Whittaker's Latin Grammar ; Lord Teign- 
mouth's Memoirs of Sir W Jones ; Stock on the Prophet 
Isaiah; Holmes's Edition of the Septuagint; Wilkins's 
Arabic and Persian Dictionary; Barrett's Evangtlium 
secundum Matthseum ; Gilchrist's New Theory of the 
Persian Verbs; De Sa,cy's Chrestomathie Arabe; Weston's 
Fragments of Oriental Literature; and Dean Graves's Lec- 
tures on the Pentateuch. All these disquisitions are 
marked by a thoroughness and solidity which will always 
make them most acceptable to inquirers into the various sub- 
jects of philology and criticism to whioh they refer. Ths 


writer, with no ostentation, shows his own mastery of the 
hranch of learning forming the subject of the books 
reviewed j and not only gives a lucid account of their con- 
tents, but adds to the sum of information to be found in 
them, from his own rich stores.* 

In September, 1807, he published, in one volume, "A con- 
cise View of the Succession of Sacred Literature, in a 
Chronological Arrangement of Authors and their Works to 
the Year of our Lord 345." Most of the sheets had been 
printed more than three years, the author having been 
prevented from completing it. The main value of this book 
lies in the- analytical account it gives us of the writings of 
the Greek and Latin Fathers who lived before the Council of 
Nice. Mr. Clarke's account of these writings is not 
second-hand compilation, but derived in general from a per- 
sonal examination of the works themselves. Even the 
"BibliothZque des Auteurs EccMsiastiques" of the Sorbonnist, 
Du Pin, (in itself a treasury of that kind of lore,) was not 
in his possession while engaged in this task. The author's 
original design, to bring down the rHumi of the ecclesiasti- 
cal writers to the time of the invention of printing, was not 
accomplished by himself, but by his son, the Rev. J. B. B. 
Clarke, who fulfilled it in the production of a second volume 
much larger than the first, and in a manner that bore out the 
high estimate his father had taken of his qualifications and 
ability for such a work. The second volume was published 
in 1831, the year before the decease of Dr. Clarke, who pre- 
fixed the following words : "As the continuation is announced 
under another name, it may be neoeesary to state that I" have 
been obliged to seek that help in others once found in myself, 

. * To these (Eclectic) reviews we may add another, on Exley'a 
theory of Phydc*, which appeared in the Literary Gazette, and ia 
reprinted in the tenth volume of the Works. 


of which length of days and impaired sight have deprived me.* 
To my son, J. B. B. Clarke, M. A., I have delivered up all 
my papers, (the whole of which have been added to what 
was previously published, and constitute the completion of 
the first part,) with the fullest conviction that from his 
natural taste for this species of study, so nearly allied to his 
sacred function, and from his various learning and thorough 
knowledge of the subject, he is amply qualified to conduct it, 
with credit to himself and profit to the reader, to that issue 
at which his father aimed — the glory of God, and the good 
of his Church." 

About the time of the publication of the first volume, Dr. 
Clarke was diligently at work on a new edition of Shuck- 
ford's " Sacred and Profane History of the AVorld," for 
which he had made numerous notes and corrections ; but the 
book, when nearly through the press, was consumed by a fire 
which burned down the printing-office. This calamity 
destroyed also another work on which he had spent yet more 
labor — an edition of Harmer's " Observations on various 
Passages of Scripture." Shuckford he did not resume, but 
gave it over to the Rev. Mr. Creighton, who brought it for- 
ward again ; but to Harmer he applied with renewed %eal. 
By improving the style, and inserting the Hebrew and 
( rrcek words (where it could be done advantageously) in the 
Scripture quotations, with the Masoretic pronunciation of the 
Hebrew — by illustrating some passages from Eastern authors, 

* In a letter to Mrs. Clarke, dated 1810, when away from home, 
the Doctor says: "Tell Joseph for the Lord's sake to give all dili- 
gence at Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. I must soon be worn out, at 
least as to my eyes; and it' there be not some one to go on with my 
unfinished works, all will be ruin." He found iu Joseph the helper 
lie wanted. Of this amiable and learned clergyman see a short 
account farther on. 


and adding a series of observations designed to show the 
benefit afforded by the Greek and Roman classics as means 
of illustration in many passages of Scripture — he produced 
an edition of this useful work incomparably superior to any 
one of the four which had preceded it. 

Another editorial undertaking was a reprint of the Con- 
cordance to the Bible which had been published a long time 
before by the Rev. Mr. Butterworth, of Coventry; a good 
work of the kind, which, however, under the care of Dr. 
Clarke, became much better, by the incorporation of addi- 
tional matter prepared by the author himself, by the expung- 
ing of some erroneous statements relating to the natural 
history of the Bible, by more critical expositions of the pro- 
per names, and by revision of the theological definitions. As 
a Concordance, this edition comprises the good qualities of 
being correct, pleasant, and portable. 

In original composition, the Account of the Ecclesiastical 
Writers was now followed by a treatise on the Holy Com- 
munion, with the title of "A Discourse on the Nature, Insti- 
tution, and Design of the Holy Eucharist." The primary 
idea of this disquisition may be expressed by a sentence from 
the Introduction : "The Eucharist I consider a rite designed 
by God to keep up a continual remembrance of the doctrine 
of the atonement." In bringing this out to view, great stress 
is laid upon the analogy between the Lord's Supper in the 
New Testament dispensation, and the paschal supper under 
the Old. In the introduction he examines the question, 
whether our Lord ate the Passover with his disciples in the 
hut year of his ministry ; and inclines to the opinion that he 
did partake of the paschal supper with them, but not at the 
same hour with the Jews ; and that he expired on the cross 
the same hour in which the paschal Iamb was slain. He 
then proceeds to his theme, "that Christ our Passover is 
sacrificed for us, and that he has instituted this rite as a per- 


petual memorial of that his precious death until his coming 
again ; and they who, with a sincere heart and true faith in 
his passion and death, partake of it, shall be made partakers 
of his most blessed body and blood :" in the discussion of 
which he points out, 

I. The nature and design of this institution : here drawing 
a parallel between it and the Passover; embodying, as he 
goes on, some rich quotations from the great doctors of the 
Hebrew and Christian communions. 

II. The manner of its celebration : where he gives a har- 
mony of the Gospel narratives of the last supper, and takes 
occasion to urge the importance of retaining the materials of 
the communion as they were appointed by our Saviour, i. e., 
unleavened bread, to be broken in the act of administration ; 
and the use of the purest wine, or the unadulterated juice 
of the grape. 

III. The proper meaning of the different epithets given 
to it in the Scriptures and the primitive Church. 1. The 
Eucharist. 2. Lord's Supper. 3. Sacrifice. 4. Breaking 
of Bread. 5. Communion. 6. Sacrament. 7. Paschal 
Feast, Passover. He explains these terms with a profusion 
of learning. In defining the term "sacrament," he seems to 
restrict the meaning to the oath of fidelity and obedience. 
He takes occasion in one place to ask, " Who, then, should ap- 
proach this awful ordinance ?" and answers, 1. Every believer 
in Jesus Christ. 2. Every genuine penitent; "for the pro- 
mises of pardon are made to him." And as to the question, 
" Who arc they who should administer it V he answers, 
"Every minister of Jesus Christ, and he only;" adding, "I 
shall not dispute here about the manner in which a man may 
be appointed to officiate in any branch of the Church of God. 
The pure Church of Christ exists exclusively nowhere. It 
lives in its universality in the various congregationx and 
societies which profess the gospel of the Son of God : there- 


fore I contend not here for this or that mode of ordination. 
Bat I contend that the man alone who is appointed to min- 
ister in holy things, according to. the regular usages of that 
Church to which he belongs, has a right to preach God's holy 
word or to administer his sacraments." 

IV. The reasons for frequent communion. 1. The com- 
mand given by our Lord to do this in remembrance of him. 
2. The eucharist sets forth the truth of the atonement ; it 
represents the great Sacrifice, and should therefore be con- 
stantly observed. 3. It is the duty of the pastor to urge its 
observance on the flock. 4. It is a standing and inexpugna- 
ble proof of the authenticity of the Christian religion. 

In a postscript the author gives some extracts from a" 
Saxon homily, apd others from ^lfrio's Epistles, to show 
that the early English churches did not hold the doctrine of 

On the memorable words of our Saviour, " Take, eat ; this 
is my body," Dr. Clarke, in opposition to the Romish doc- 
trine, affirms the meaning to be, "This represents my body;" 
observes that in the same way the paschal Iamb is called the 
Passover, because it represented the means appointed for the 
preservation of the Israelites from the blast of the destroying 
angel; and then proceeds to make a philological remark 
which has called forth some grave discussion. "Besides," 
writes he, "our Lord did not say. Hoc est corpus metim, 
'This is my body,' as he did aot speak in the Latin tongue; 
though as much stress has been laid upon this quotation from 
the Vulgate version by the Papists as if the original of the 
three evangelists had been written in Latin. Had he spoken 
in Latin, following the idiom of the Vulgate, he would have 
said, Pant's hie corpus mevm significat, or, symbolum est 
corporis met: 'This bread signifies my body.' But let it be 
observed, that in the Scriptures, as they stand in the Hebrew, 
Chaldee, and Chaldaeo-Syriac languages, there is no term 


which expresses to mean, signify, or denote, though both the 
Greek and Latin abound with them : hence the Hebrews use 
a figure, and say, It is, for, It signifies." Of this mode of 
speaking he gives a variety of examples. The same train of 
remark he has embodied in his commentary on the twenty- 
sixth chapter of St. Matthew. 

Cardinal Wiseman, at that time a professor in the Gollegio 
della Sapienza at Borne, in a work on Syrian literature,* pub- 
lished by him in 1828, took occasion to animadvert en this 
statement, and to show that in the Syrian language there are 
many terms expressive of signifying, meaning, and denoting, 
of which he gives a variety of examples, for the purpose of 
obviating Dr. Clarke's argument against the Romanist view 
of transubstantiation. The objection of Dr. Wiseman was 
hereupon met by Professor Lee, of Cambridge, who replied 
to it in his Prolegomena to Bagster's Polyglot Bible. . It is 
many years since I perused those works, and, not having 
access to them at present, I cannot state the precise terms in 
which the argument was conducted; but I advert to the 
point just here to observe, that, judging from the words 
which Dr. Clarke uses in the treatise before me, as well as in his 
commentary on Matt, xxvi., the learned Italian professor seems 
to have launched his polemical javelin against an antagonist 
created by his own imagination. Dr. Clarke never said that 
in the Syrian language, as it was cultivated by ecolesiastical 
writers ages after the time of our Saviour, there is no word 
which answers to signify or represent; but, as the reader will 
see by reverting to his own words, that "in the Scriptures, 
as they stand in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Chaldaeo-Syruc 
languages," there is no such term. The Syriac language 

* Home Syriaem: sen Commentationes tt Aneedota Re* vtl Litteriu 
, v !/rincas spertantia, Auetore. Nicholao Wiseman, 8. T.D. Tomut primut. 
ttomte, 1828. 


LL.D. 363 

after the apostolic time received many accessions of terms 
and words, which at that time were unknown in it. 

Returning for a moment to the treatise on the Eucharist, 
we may deferentially remark that the chief defect we dis- 
cover in this substantial and profitable discourse is, that, 
while the Doctor gives great prominence to the Holy Supper 
as a memorial, he does not point our attention sufficiently to 
its sacramental character as a sign' and seal of the promises 
of God's covenant in Christ ; nor is he sufficiently explicit 
on the efficacy of the solemn rite as a means of grace. 
Neither can we be satisfied with the restricted sense he gives 
to the term "sacrament," as denoting an oath of fidelity. In 
the Vulgate New Testament the Latin word sacramentum 
answers to the Greek \ivari\piov, "a mystery," something 
veiled under an emblematic form ; and the sense in which 
the apostles employed the latter term ought to be taken into 
account in defining the meaning of the former. Thus St. 
Paul, speaking of the marriage-bond, says, that, representing 
as it does the union between Christ and the Church, it is 
pvorriptov fiiya, " a great mystery ;" which the Vulgate ren- 
ders sacramentum magnum. So, in Rev. i. 20, "the mys- 
tery of the seven stars" is in the Vulgate " the sacrament of 
the seven stars." The Syrians use the word roza in the 
same passages, and apply that term also to the ordinance of 
the Lord's Supper. In all these cases it is very plain that 
the Roman military oath has nothing to do with the matter. 
Nevertheless, Dr. Clarke's work on the blessed Eucharist is 
one of the best in the English or any other language ; and it 
would be a cause of thankfulness if the Methodist literature 
were enriched by a treatise equally good on the other sacra- 
ment of baptism. 

Several minor pieces were communicated from time to time 
by Dr. Clarke to various periodicals, of which we regret to 
be only able to afford room for the titles. Several of them 

304 life of the 

are of an antiquarian character; such as, 1. An Attempt to 
explain an Inscription on what is called Arthur's Tombstone,, 
near Camclford. 2. A short Description of three Round 
Towers in Ireland. 3. An Account of three remarkable 
Crosses at Munsterboyce, in Ireland., 4. An Account of 
Mount Rough-tor, with its Druidical Monuments. 5. A Dis- 
sertation on Diplomas and Diptychs. (i. On the Poem of 
" King Hart," by Gawin Douglas. 7 On the Bow of Ulvs- 
ses. 8. On a Bourbonnese Inscription. 

Others refer to the phenomena of nature : 1. On Prognos- 
tications of the Weather. 2. An Account of an Agricultu- 
ral Experiment. 3. An Account of the miraculous Growth 
of a Woman's Hair. 4. Extraordinary Sagacity of a Dog. 
5. On some Medical Cases in the Philadelphia Medical Mu- 

Another class consists of dissertations and fragments on 
biblical subjects : 1. On the Genealogy of Jesus Christ. 2. 
Critical Remarks on the Thirty-second Chapter of Exodus. 
3. Introduction to Fisher's "Grand Folio Bible," — a master- 
ly essay. 4. A Preface to the Book of Psalms. 5. On "the 
Words, Anathema Maranatha. 6. Directions for reading the 

And another, of papers on ecclesiastical subjects: 1. On 
the Creed of the Abyssinians. 2. Translation of the Liturgy 
of Dioscorus. 3. On Kneeling in Worship. 4. A Letter 
of Counsel to a Preacher. 5. On the Methodist Chapels and 

The next class are polemical : 1. A Reply to various Cri- 
tiques on Dr. Clarke's Bible. 2. On a Pamphlet entitled "A 
Vindication of the Hindoos." 3. Remarks on a Criticism in 
the Christian Observer. 4. Another Letter to the Same. 
5. A Letter to the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. All 
these, along with a translation of the History of St. Leucio, 
an establishment near Naples, founded as an experiment in 


social economy by the late King Ferdinand^ are found in the 
tenth and eleventh volumes of his collected Works. 

The remaining class are biographical — six notices of emi- 
nent Christians, among whom are his early friend, Coleman, 
and his revered colleague, Mr. Pawson. 

'In coming to the next Considerable book, the " Memoirs of 
the Wesley Family," it should be observed that Dr. Clarke 
had long entertained the idea of writing a biography of the 
founder of Methodism himself, of whom, with an almost 
boundless veneration, he was wont to say that, "as a. scholar, 
poet, logician, critic, philosopher, politician, legislator, divine, 
public teacher, and deeply pious and extensively useful man, 
he had no superior, and few, if any, equals," and that justice 
can never be done him unless he be viewed in all these char- 
acters. At the Oonference of 1820 he was officially requested 
to write Mr. Wesley's Life. The widely read memoir by the 
poet-laureate was then making a great impression on the pub- 
lic mind, and a number of influential persons, who dissented 
from the worldly-minded and sinister view of the character 
of Mr: Wesley presented in that biography, urged him by 
earnest solicitations to acquiesce in the request. Among 
these, Mr. Butterworth offered him £500 for the copyright. 
I^or was Dr. Clarke averse from the task, but greatly inclined 
to undertake it. He had, indeed, a feeling, produced by 
some incidents in conversation with him while living, that 
such a thing would have been agreeable to Mr. Wesley him- 
self, and he had been for years accumulating materials which 
would be highly effective in the construction of an authentic 
life of that, servant of God. 

Yet this project, through certain unpropitious hindrances, 
came to nothing; or rather, we should say, it issued not in a 
Life of the Founder of Methodism, but in a Memoir of the 
Family from which he sprang. The Rev. Henry Moore 
declined to confide to Ms use certain papers which he had in 


possession as one of the trustees of Mr. Wesley^s . Kterary 
property. Upon this, Dr. Clarke offered him all his own 
collections, provided he would undertake the memoir himself. 
But this, too, was at that time declined. The result has juijt 
been stated. 

This work, written, we may truly say, con amove, and -in 
the short space of four months, was published in 1823. Tjie 
copyright of the first edition was presented by the* author to 
the Methodist Book-room, for which he received the most 
cordial thanks of the Conference. It was subsequently re- 
printed, with a large accession of matter, in two volumes'. 
In addition to his own collection, ample materials had been 
supplied him by Miss Sarah Wesley and other friends, in- 
cluding Miss Sharp,, from whom he received some important 
letters out of the correspondence of her grandfather, the 
Archbishop of York, which threw much light on . the early 
history of Mr. Wesley's father, the rector of Epworth. That 
indefatigable Methodist antiquarian, the late Thomas Mar- 
riott, Esq., also freely opened his treasures for the Doctor's 
use. From all these sources he has been able to perpetuafe 
the memory of a family remarkable alike for their genius, 
their exemplary piety, and their relation to a revival of apos- 
tolic religion, the influences and effects of which strengthen 
with the years of time, and widen in their range of action 
on the nations of the world at large. 

The next publication to be mentioned is a useful tractate* 
the design of which is best described in the ample terms of 
the title-page, namely, the " Clavis Biblica ; or, a Compen- 
dium of Scriptural Knowledge, containing a. general View 
of the Contents of the Old and New Testaments ; the Prin- 
ciples of Christianity derived from them, and the Beasons on 
which they are founded ; with Directions how to read most 
profitably the Holy Bible. Originally drawn up for the In- 
struction of two Teerunanxies, or'Higfe Priests of Buddhoo, 


from the Island of Ceylon." Of these Indian priests we will 
give an account farther on. . The little volume before us 
(which is dedicated to the Rev. Jabez Bunting, M. A., Pres- 
ident of the Conference fpr 1820, and to the Secretaries, 
Treasurers, and Committee of the Wesleyan Missionary Soci- 
ety) recites the circumstances under which the interesting 
strangers had.been confided to the writer's care, and is accom- 
panied with an affectionate and fatherly letter, replete with 
wise counsel, and & most suitable introduction to the book he 
had written for their learning. The work itself is admirably 
suited to the instruction of catechumens, and young persons 
in general. 

Dr. Clarke, in the latter years of his life, wrote a number 
of homiletic Discourses, not so much for his own use in the 
pulpit, as for publication through the medium of the press. 
In his collected Works they are comprised in four volumes, 
and thrown together in a miscellaneous manner. For the 
sake of method and brevity, I will arrange them under their 
pritper heads. 

I. Theological. 1. On the Existence and Attributes 
of God. (Jer. x. 11.) 2. The Being and Providence of 
God. (Heb. xi. 6.) .'J. St. Paul's Metaphysics; or, the In- 
visible made known by the Visible, 4. The Doctrine of 
Providence. 5. The different Methods which God has used 
to bring Men to the Knowledge of Himself. 6. Divine 
Revelation. 7. Worship. 8. The Love of God to a lost 
World. 9. His Willingness to save all Men. 10. The Plan 
of Human Redemption. 11. The Love of God to Man. 
12. The Necessity of Christ's Atonement. 115. The God of 
all Grace. 14. The Gift of a Saviour the Fulfilment of 
Prophecy. 15. God's Love in Christ considered in its Ob- 
jects. Freeness, and Results. 16. The Miracles of Christ a 
Proof of his Divinity. 17. The Gospel a Proclamation of 


Life and Immortality. 18. Life the Gift of the Gospel, the 
Law the Ministration of Death. 19. Life, Death, and Im- 
mortality. 20. The Corruption of the World. 21. The 
condescending Entreaty of God to Sinners. 22. Repentance. 
23. Salvation by Faith. 24. Holiness. 25. The true Cir- 
cumcision. 20. Christ crucified, a Stumbling-Block to the 
Jews, and Foolishness to the Greeks. 27. The Design of 
Jewish Sacrifices; that of Christ the only Atonement. 28. 
The Gospel of Christ the Power of God unto Salvation. 29. 
The Glory of the Latter Days. 

II. Experimental. 1. True Happiness, and the "Way 
to attain it. 2. Genuine Happiness the Privilege of the 
Christian in this Life. 3. The Confidence of the true Chris- 
tian. 4. Experimental Religion and its Fruits. 5. The 
Hope of the Gospel through the Resurrection of Christ. 6. 
The Operations of Providence and Grace calculated to in- 
spire Confidence and Gratitude. 7 St. Peter's Character of 
the Dispersed among the Gentiles, and his Prayer for the 
Church of God. 8. Confidence in God, and its Reward. 9. 
Probation and Temptation. 10. Promises to the Man who 
has set his Love upon God. 11. Acquaintance with God, 
and the Benefits which result from it. 12. The Family of 
God and its Privileges. 

III. Ethical. 1. On the Decalogue. 2. The Wisdom 
that is from above. 8. Love to God and Man the Fulfilling 
of the Law. 4. The Lord's Prayer. 5. The Prayer of 
Agur. 6. The Traveller's Prayer; a Discourse on the third 
Collect, for Grace. 7. Christian Moderation. 8. The Chris- 
tian Race. 9. The Origin and End of Civil Government. 
10. The Rights of God and Caesar. 

IV Relating to the Christian Ministry. 1. The 
high Commission. 2. Apostolic Preaching. 3. The Chris- 
tian Prophet and his Work. 4. The Wise Man's Counsels 


to his Pupil ; or, the true Method of giving, receiving, and 
profiting by religious Instruction. 5. Characteristic Affec- 
tion and prime Objects of the Christian Ministry. 

V Miscellaneous. 1. The rich Man and the Beggar. 
2. Nebuchadnezzar's Dream. 3. Two important Questions 
answered. (Psalm xv. 1-5.) 4- Death unavoidable. 

The topics of these discourses, it will be perceived, are of 
.the weightiest moment ; and they are discussed with a cor- 
respondent seriousness and gravity, with a breadth of investi- 
gation, a force of argument, and a fidelity of application, which 
will insure them a high and permanent place in the homiletic 
literature of our country. As to the graces of composition, 
many of them are far from being finished in style. De- 
signedly unadorned, their very simplicity gives them a 
characteristic strength. The truth is made known in deep 
and well-defined outlines ; not in highly enamelled pictures, 
but in cartoons, struck off by the bold hand of a master. 

This is all that we have room to offer on the Miscellaneous 
Works of Dr. Clarke ; but there are yet three peculiar phases 
of his'literary life, which we must take next in review. 




It was about the year 1808 that the attention of the 
House of Commons was directed to the condition of the Pub- 
lic Records. The principal archives of the more remote, 
reigns of the English kings had been, a hundred years be- 
fore, collected and embodied in a series of twenty folios, 
under the title of Fcedera, Conventtbnes, et cujuscunque 
Generis Acta publico,, inter Regis Angliae et alios Prtn- 
cipes* Fourteen of these were edited by Thomas Ryaer, 
an eminent antiquary who held the office of Royal Historio- 
grapher, and who died in 1713; the remaining six, by Robert 
Sanderson, his assistant, afterwards Keeper of, the Rolls. 
Since that time there had been a large accumulation of public 
documents, which were lying in confusion in various reposi- 
tories, together with a number of valuable papers not incor- 
porated in the Foedera. Rymer left a collection of state 
papers in no less than fifty-nine volumes folio, which, after 
lys death, were taken into the possession of the government 
To have these multitudinous documents arranged, in con- 
tinuation of that great work, was felt to . be a duty to the 
country ; and a commission Was appointed to take the mea- 

* Another edition was published at the Hague, in 1789, in ten 
volumes folio. 


bums proper for itd accomplishment. One preliminary was 
the appointment of a suitable editor ; and it will serve to 
give an idea of the high estimate which had been already 
formed of Adam Clarke, to Btate that he Was the man to 
whom the government and senate of England made their 
application. Our surest method will be to give a statement 
of this transaction from a memorandum in the Doctor's own 

" Some time in February, 1808, I learned that I had been 
recommended to His Majesty's commissioners of the public 
records, by the Right Hon. Charles Abbott, Speaker of the 
House of Commons, and one of the commissioners, (to 
whom I was known only by some of my writings on biblio- 
graphy,) as a fit person to undertake the department of col- 
lecting and arranging those state papers which might serve 
to/complete and continue Rymer's Fcedera. John 

Caley; Esq., secretary to the commission, was appointed to 
see me. He called on Mr. Butterworth, and de- 

sired an introduction to me on the following Thursday. 
I attended the appointment, and was introduced to 
him in Mr. B.'s study. 

"After the usual compliments, Mr. Caley said, ' Mr. Clarke, 
I -am desired to call on you to know whether you would be 
willing to undertake a work jn which His Majesty's govern- 
ment would wish to employ you V A. C. ' Pray, what is it 
in which His Majesty's government could employ so obscure 
an individual as myself?' Mr. C. 'Sir, I am not at liberty 
to specify it at present.^ A. ('. 'Then, sir, I can give no 
answer, because I know not whether I have the requisite 
qualifications for the work.' Mr. C. ' Sir, those who have 
sent me have no doubt of your qualifications. The work is 
confidential; but I can say no more at present, than that it 
requires the habits of a Christian, a scholar, and a gentle- 
man. ' A. C 'Why, sir, I may very reasonably doubt 

372 LIFE or THE 

whether I have any of these qualifications in an. adequate 
degree : all I can say is, if there be any way in which, in 
addition to my present sacred duties, I can serve' my king 
and country, it must be my duty to embrace it. But, as I 
know not the nature of the work, nor the'abilities and time 
it may require, I cannot give any particular answer.' Mrt- 
C. ' Mr. Clarke, your answer is sufficient. I shall report it, 
and you may expect to hear from me shortly.' 

" Within a few days I received a note from Mr. Caley, 
wishing me to call upon him. I did so, and was then in- 
formed what the work was — a supplement and continuation 
of Rymer; and that His Majesty's commissioners had de- 
sired me to draw up an Essay on that work. I was struck 
with surprise, and endeavored to excuse myself on the ground 
of general unfitness. At this the secretary smiled, 

and said, ' Mr. Clarke, you will have the goodness to try ; 
and meanwhile, pray, draw up the paper which the commis- 
sioners require, and J am always ready to give you any assist- 
ance in my power.' " ■ 

He felt on consideration strongly inclined to consent. 
But previously " I laid," says he, " the whole business be- 
fore the committee of preachers at City Road, and begged 
their advice.. Some said, ' It will prevent your going on in 
the work of the ministry.' Others, ' It is a trick of the devil 
to prevent your usefulness.' Others, 'It may rather be a 
call of Divine Providence to greater usefulness than formerly ; 
and, seeing you compromise nothing by it, and may still 
preach as -usual, accept it, in God's name.' Others, 'If Mr. 
Wesley were alive, he would consider it a call of God to yon; 
and so close in with it without hesitation.' " He did- so— 
but, he adds, " with the positive understanding that I would 
only consider myself a locum tcnens till they could procure 

His first task was to produce a report of the nature, num- 


ber, and localities of the materials which were to form the 
new Supplement to the Foedera. It was to take the form of 
"An Essay on the best Mode of carrying into Effect a Com* 
pilation from unedited and latent Records, to form a Supple- 
ment," etc. ; and, as he writes in a letter to his friend Mr. 
Roberts, '• was to be prepared in fourteen days. . . . 
These records were to be- found in, 1. The British Museum. 
2. The Tower. 3. The Chapter-House, Westminster. 4. 
The Rolls Chapel. 5. The State Paper Office. 6. The 
Privy Council Office. 7. The Signet Office. 
Write I must. Well, I thought, for the honor 

of my God, and for the credit of my people, I will put my 
shoulder to a wheel deeply stuck in the mud, and raise it if 
I can. To do any thing with effect, I must examine sixty 
folio volumes, with numerous collateral evidences, and write 
on a subject, ' Diplomatics,' on which I had never tried my 
pen, and in circumstances, too, the most unfriendly, as I was 
employed in. the visitation of the classes during the wholo 
tim,e. I thought, prayed, read ; like John Bunyan, ' I 
pulled, And, as I pulled, it came.' " 

The Essay, thus required, he was enabled to furnish with 
an incredible .activity ; and, to quote the words of tho official 
minute, "At a Board of the Commissioners appointed !>y Hi* 
Majesty on tho Public Records of the Kingdom, holdrn 
Friday, 2.') March, 1808— Present, the Rt. Hon. C. Al>l>..ft, 
Lord P Campbell, Lord Rcdesdale, Lord Glcnbervie, the 
Bishop of Bangor, etc —the secretary stated that Adam 
Clarke, LL.D., having been recommended, on account of his 
extensive learning and indefatigable industry, as a fit person* 
________^ — - — , — . — ■ — • 1 — 

* '«At the same time," when tho report was forwarded to the 
secretary, " I sent them word that I was an itinerant preacher 
amlng the people called Methodists, lately under the direction of 
the Rev. John Wesley, deceased." 


to revise and form a Supplement to Kymer's Faedera, had 
prepared an ' Essay on the best Mode of executing such an 
undertaking ;' which report the secretary delivered in, and 
the same was now read." 

In this elaborate dissertation, he gives a short history of 
the origin and progress of the Foederd, examines the com- 
parative merits ■ of the . different editions through , which it 
had passed ; considers the materials of which it is composed, 
and how far they accord with the original design ; then takes 
into view the projected Supplement; considers the nature of 
the proper materials, and the repositories where they could 
be found ; and finally points out the "best mode by which 
they might be selected, arranged, and edited. 

Upon the presentation of the report, the Board " ordered 
that the secretary do obtain admission for Dr. Clarke to make 
searches in the several public offices, libraries, and reposito- 
ries, which it may be necessary for him to consult." 

Furnished with this authority, and appointed also a sub- 
commissioner, he applied himself with assiduity to the work 
before him. In May, the following year, the secretary 
stated to the Board that Dr. Clarke had been diligently em- 
ployed in collecting materials ; when it was ordered that he 
be desired to lay before them a further report; which was 
accordingly prepared) and followed, in January, 1810, by a 
third, which turned especially on the structure of Rymer's 
work, and on the use which he made of our ancient English 
historians. In the course of this disquisition, Dr. Clarke 
impugns the authenticity of the celebrated letter of " Vehu 
de Monte," the Elder of the Mountain,* to Leopold, Duke of 
Austria, exculpating King Bichard from the murder of the 

* The Sbeekh ul jebel, or chief of the Hassanions in Mount 


Marquis of Montferrat. He considers the letter to be a 
forgery of Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, and, as such, 
unworthy of a place in the Faedera. 

A minute of the- Board in March states that, having con- 
sidered Dr. Clarke's several reports, they are of opinion 
" that the work will be best executed by a consolidation of 
all the* old and new materials in a chronological series, with 
indexes, analytical and alphabetical, according to the plan 
laid down in the said reports ; and order that Dr. Clarke do 
forthwith prepare materials for a first volume of a new edition 
of Rymer according to the said plan, and be desired to pro- 
pose a plan for carrying on the continuation concurrently." 

In .this new edition the various supplements were to be 
embodied chronologically, and the whole material so 
arranged and fixed that the Fcedera should be a permanent 

Dr. Clarke's labors in this public undertaking extended 
through a period of nearly ten years, in the course of which 
he spent many a toilsome day among the antiquated records 
in the Tower, the Chapter-House, and the Cottonian, Har- 
leian, Lansdown, and Sloane collections in the British 
Museum, as well as at the State Paper Office and the Bolls 
Chapel. The same work called him to take frequent jour- 
neys to the provincial repositories of such documents, in the 
archives of various cathedrals, the Bodleian at Oxford, and 
the libraries of Corpus Christi and other Colleges at Cam- 
bridge ; and in Dublin, at Christchurch, and the library of 
Trinity College. He found in general every facility from the 
local authorities, and at the British Museum was furnished 
with a room which he could call his own apartment. Asso- 
ciated -with him, as assistants, at different times, were Messrs. 
Holbrooke and Janion, Dr. Steinhauer, and hiB son, Mr. J. 
W. Clarke. 


In the preceding chapters* we have had frequent occasion 
to notice journeys taken by him for the prosecution of this 
work. A recurrence to these will -show that' most of them 
were connected with evangelical labors as well. This com- 
bination, as we have seen, was at times most oppressive and 
wasting in its effects on Dr. Clarke's strength and health. 
He made repeated overtures to the government-commission 
to be absolved from further service, but did not find a release 
till the year 1819, when his constitution was so broken down 
as to compel him to be decisive in renouncing it. The 
Board, though they had refused before, now accepted • his 
resignation ; on which occasion the late Speaker, then Lord 
Colchester, addressed to him a kind letter, in which he 
says : 

"I will not lose a day in assuring you that you have, and 
ever had, through your long and successful labors' under the 

* One of his letters from Oxford contains the following passage. 
He had been introduced by Professor Gaisford to some of 'the 
society at Christchurch, and had partaken of their polite hospitality. 
In another part of the letter he resumes : "At 12 o'clock at the Bod- 
leian. The Greek professor, who is curator of the library, met us, 
and with him the sub-librarian, tfae Rev. Mr. Bandinell.- [The ReT. 
Dr. Bandinell, the present curator.] I explained to him our object: 
he brought immediately to hand the things we needed, and ap- 
pointed a noble room to ourselves, where the MSS. and Edition* 
Principet of the classics are kept. Having got two MS. copies of 
the Boldpn-Book, which we have to collate with a transcript made by 
Mr. Ellis from a copy in the' cathedral of Durham, we began our 
work, and wrought till three. We have six .hours a day for work. 
The bed and sitting-room which I now occupy were for* 
merly the apartments of Dr. John Uri, a. very learned Orientalist, 
who was the preceptor of the present Arabic professor, Dr. White. 
In this house he lived for twenty-five years ; and here he died, in 


Record Commission, my entire confidence and approba- 

In finishing his connection with this national work, which 
he truly calls "a proud monument to the glory of the British 
nation, and to the enlarged views and munificence of those 
sovereigns under whose auspices it was projected," the Doc- 
tor gives expression to his devout gratitude in the following 
words : " I register my thanks to God, the Fountain of wis- 
dom and goodness, who has enabled me to conduct this most 
difficult and delicate work for ten years, with credit to 
myself, and satisfaction to his Majesty's government. , 
To God only wise be glory and dominion, by Christ Jesus, 
for ever and ever. Amen." 

The studies connected with the discharge of these official 
duties gave Dr. Clarke a more thorough insight into English 
history than was possessed by some men who have become 
famous as historians. Compared with his attainments in this 
kind of knowledge, those of Hume, for example, were but 
superficial. That elegant but plausible writer had, as Dr. 
Clarke learned, the privilege of consulting the Records, but 
did not take the trouble to avail himself of it. A man of 
genius, it seems, can write history without much resoarch : 
like M. Vertot, who finished his narrative of the siege of 
Malta before getting the authentic documents ; and, when 
they arrived, threw them on the sofa behind him, with, " My 
siege is done." 

Dr. Clarke's researches tended to confirm him fa thoso 
liberal yet constitutional principles which formed his politi- 
cal creed from first to last. He was what is called a moderate 
Whig. "Honor all men — honor the king :" l>r. Clarke did 
both. He loved the British constitution, recognizing its 
practical and expansive capabilities for the exercise of those 
harmonious duties. "The constitution is good," says he; 


"it is the best under the sun: it can scarcely be mended 
The executive government may in particular cases adopt ba< 
measures, and therefore should not be vindicated in* thosi 
things; yet, in general, the executive government must b 
supported ; because, if it be not, down goes the constitution 
and up rise anarchy and every possible evil." 




The rise of the British and Foreign Bible Society was one 
of the signs which, at the opening of the nineteenth century, 
inaugurated a new era in the religious history of the world. 
Till the nations of the earth are brought under the influence 
of a direct revelation from God, they will never be renewed. 
No words, then, can tell the grandeur of the thought which 
at that time began more fully to move the minds of British 
Christians, to give the world the Bible, or express the 
solemn gratitude which the true philanthropist must feel in 
reviewing the .successes which have attended the Messed en- 
terprise, through which, by persevering toil, and not a little 
sacrifice, "by the patience of hope and the labor of love," 
millions and millions in many lands and tongues have read 
and heard the words that are spirit and lite All honor to 
the men 'who, so few in number, and so feeblo in resources, 
arose to do this work, and unveil the fair aspect of truth for 
the. eyes of all humanity ! 

In this most beneficent undertaking Dr. Adam Clarke had 
the honor of taking a conspicuous part. Mr. Butterworth, 
who was one of the originators of the society, soon enlisted 
his brother-in-law in a work for which his whole heart was 
predisposed, and for which his biblical knowledge and evan- 
gtiio leal so eminently qualified him. The committee, as 

380 tiii-E or THE 

soon as they commenced active measures for printing the 
various Oriental versions of the Scriptupes, found in him the 
very man they needed. As we are now looking at the aspects 
of his literary life, it is only in this point of view that our 
limits will allow us to consider his relations to the society. 
Dr. Clarke, then, was, as" we may say, the standing counsel 
of the committee in that department ; and the papers which 
in that capacity he communicated to them not only show the 
sound advice and practical help he was enabled to give, but 
embody some essays on the Eastern translations pf the Bible 
which deserve an endless permanence. These papers, which 
are too long for insertion here, may be found in the second 
volume of the family Life of Dr. Clarke, edited by his son 
and daughter ; and, in the event of a new edition of the 
Doctor's Works, they should be incorporated in it. He not 
only gave these important advices vivd voce in the committee- 
meetings, of which he was a punctual attendant, and in the 
written instructions now referred to, but he superintended, 
as well, the preparation of the Oriental types. With a lively 
sense of the zeal with which he carried these aids into prW 
perous effect, the committee desired to give him some token 
ef their esteem. To use the words of their historian, Mr. 
Owen : " For the eminent service's which had cost Mr. Clarke 
no ordinary sacrifice of time and labor, they requested per r 
mission to present him with fifty pounds ; an offering which 
that learned and public-spirited individual respectfully but 
peremptorily declined to accept. Gratuitous exertions in the 
cause of the society, and refusals to accept pecuniary returns, 
have • abounded in every period of its history. Mr. .Adam 
Clarke is, however, not to be classed with ordinary benefac- 

When Providence removed Dr. Clarke from London, the 
Committee of the Bible Society felt that they were losing one 
of their most valued helpers, and expressed their sentiments 


in an official letter of thanks. Bat, though he was thus taken 
away from the sphere in which he could personally cooperate 
with the committee, his influence and services were at the 
command of the society wherever he had opportunity of serv- 
ing the glorious cause for which it exists. 

Since those days the career of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society exhibits one ceaseless advance, and that splendid ex- 
periment of Christian zeal has been attended with a success 
which confirms the assurance that its purpose will be accom- 
plished in giving the word of God to the human race. Vast 
as is the design, every year utters more distinctly the pro- 
phecy of its fulfilment. The astronomer, from a known section 
of . the pathway of a new planet, can describe its entire orbit, 
and its time of revolving, even to a day : bo, in the progress 
this great institution has made within the last fifty years, there 
may be found the pledge that its destiny will be carried out, 
and even the elements that may serve in calculating the period 
when the consummation shall be gained. 




Dr. Clarke was one of a long succession of men who, • 
in every age of the Christian Church, have applied the best 
energies of their intellect and heart to the study and inter- 
pretation of the Scriptures of truth. Regarding the Holy 
Bible as an authenticated revelation from God to mankind, , 
the immutable canon of their duty, the gospel of their re- l 
demption from sin and perdition, and the covenant-charter of 
their hope of everlasting life, they have made it the grand 
business of their lives to lay open its mines of wisdom, for 
the edification of the Church in her holy faith, and the con- 
version of the world to God. 

A volume which enshrines the thoughts of an infinite 
Intelligence, and bears relation not only to the concerns of 
human life in the remotest past, but to its destinies in the 
endless future, may well awaken the earnest scrutiny of the 
wisest and most thoughtful of mankind. Nor, when we con- 
sider the peculiar character of its contents, and the circum- 
stances of time, locality, and language, in which it was 
written, need we be surprised that so much resolute labor 
has been needed for the satisfactory explication of many of • 
its parts. Let us rather be thankful that # these attempts 
have been so well sustained, and crowned with such measures 
of success, that the holy Book may now be read in so many 


of the languages of our race, and understood by all who are 
willing to be made wise. 

One result of these persevering studies ha* been to fix 
the principles on which the Bible may be truly expounded. 
Severe investigation and careful experiment have reduced 
those principles to a well-defined system, designated in 
technical phrase the science of Hermeneutics or Exegesis.* 
But the present comparatively satisfactory state of this 
science has been, like most other human attainments, arrived 
at" by slow and laborious approaches. 

Though the written word of God had its public interpret- 
ers" in the Old Testament time, we have no monuments of 
their labors except the version of the Septuaginta, completed 
about 140 B. C. ; the Aramaic Targum of Onkelos on the 
Pentateuch, and of Yondthan ben Uzziel on the Prophets. 
executed somewhere toward the opening of the Gospel dis- 
pensation : the Septuagint being in general a grammatical 
translation of the Hebrew Bible, and the Tanruins a tolerably 
olose paraphrase in the vernacular of Palestine at that time. 
In these productions we have, n<> doubt, an embodiment of 
the expository ideas propounded in the synagogue by the 
Meturgemanin, or official interpreters of the Hebrew text, 
who, ever since the days of Ezra, had accompanied the Sab- 
bath-readings of .Moses and the Prophets with Mich oral 
translations as would make them intelligible to the people. 
To these we may add the fanciful expositions of Philo the 
Alexandrian Jew, and the more substantial but often random 
explanations of Joseph ben Mattathja, in his work on the 
Antiquities of the Jews. In the .Mishna, too, and subse- 
quently in the Talmud, (works which were elaborated in the 
first five centuries of the Christian era,) a multitude of biblical 

* If scientifically distinguished, hermeneutics arc the theory of in- 
terpretation ; exegesis, interpretation in its practical exercise. 


texts are expounded with various degrees of correctness or 
absurdity. Ho, also, in the books called Sifra, Sifree, and 
Mekiltha, we have commentaries on the Pentateuch, and in 
the Boraitha of Rabbi Eleazar an exposition of various histo- 
rical portions of the Old Testament. 

But the first among the known Jewish authors who is 
worthy of the name of a professed commentator, is Saadya 
the Gaon, president of the Rabbinical College at Sora, in 
Babylonia, in the tenth century. He translated the Penta- 
teuch into Arabic without notes, but wrote commentaries on 
the Psalms, Canticles, Job, and Daniel. He was followed in 
the same labors by Hai Gaon, in the same century; by Tobia 
ben Eliezer, Salomo Jizhaki, (or Rashi,) Abraham ibn Ezra, 
Moses bar Nachman, and Moses ben Maimun, in the twelfth; 
in the thirteenth, by Simeon Haddarshan, (the compiler of 
the Yalkut, so often quoted by Dr. Clarke — a collection, as 
the word means, a repertory, or thesaurus, comprising in a 
stout folio the substance of the preceding commentators,) by 
Moses and David Kimchi, whose grammatical scholia are of 
great value in the study of the Hebrew Bible ; and by Levi 
ben Gershom, or Banola, who supplemented the literal ex- 
position of the text with suitable moral applications. These, 
with Don Isaac Abravanel in the fifteenth century, are the 
principal of a multitude of Jewish expositors, whose works, 
however worthy of examination, repose from age to age in 
slumbers but very rarely disturbed.* 

Among these Hebrew commentators there are four methods 
of interpretation. Some unfold the simple or literal mean- 
ing; others advance from the literal to the allegorical, and 
consider the letter of the document as the signature or in- 
dication of a higher and more spiritual teaching. Others. 
ngain, bring to their aid the mythical apparatus of the Mc- 

* Vide Etheridge's "Jerusalem and Tiberias," pp. 400-4211. 


drashjm, and crowd their pages with the Wends and sa^as 
of the Hagadoth ; while a fourth class, disdaining all these 
lower modes of exegesis, seek the transcendental regions of 
the Kabbala. 

He first of these fbur modes of interpretation is called by 
the Rabbins th6 Derek Peshet, or simple way; the second 
Retnez, op intimation, suggestion as to meaning; the third, 
Deruth, or illustrative exposition ; the fourth, Sod, the 
drawing dut of latent mystical significations. • They contract 
these four terms' into a technical one, composed of the initials, 

Principles nearly similar are developed in the early com- 
mentaries of the Christian Church. "While Irenaeus adhered 
to the simple method, Origen, Clement, and others adopted 
three modes of exposition — the grammatical, analogical, and 
allegorical. The learned catechist of Alexandria held that 
Scripture has a threefold sense, answering to the trinal ele- 
ments of human nature : the grammatical, aofiariicbc = the 
body; the moral, ifrvxiicbc; = soul ; the mystical, TrvevuariKbg 
^— spirit. The excesses of Origen's disciples gave way after- 
wards to the more severe method of the Antiochiau school 
under Diodorus of Tarsus, and Theodore of Mopsuestia; men 
who were too much disposed to exaggerate on the opposite 
side, and indulge in a frigid, rationalistic expoMtion of the 
Scriptures; while Chrysostom,Thcodoret, Jerome, and Augus- 
tin preferred the via media. 

In the Middle Ages, when the s*tudy of the Hebrew and 
Graek originals of the Bible had been almost forgotten, some 
of the schoolmen, in their interpretations of the Vulgate, 
'closely followed the traditions of the Church, while others 
launched upon the ocean of allegorical fancy- Some held 
that m Scripture there is a threefold sense — the literal, the 
spiritual, and the moral;* others, a fourfold sense — histori- 

* Poschasius Itadbcrt. 


cal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical j* yet others, i 
sevenfold sense — historical, allegorical, intermediate, tro- 
pical, parabolical, Christological, moral;! na J> others, an 
eightfold sense — literal, allegorical or parabolical, tropolo- 
gical or etymological, anagogical or analogical, typical 01 
exemplary, anaphorical or proportional, mystical or apocalyp- 
tical, Boarcademical or primordial; and, to crown all, others, 
an infinite sensej — thus giving the interpreter space and 
verge enough to range wherever the wings of imagination 
might bear him. 

By reverting to these things, which is like glancing" into a 
dark and roaring vortex, we become the more sensible of' the 
great advantages which the Church now possesses in those 
surer principles of interpretation which have been carried 
with increasing -effect into their practical results since the time 
of the Reformation. At that great epoch the necessity which 
was felt for an appeal to the Bible, as the record of Dkine 
revelation, and the high rule of faith to the Church, led to 
a revived study of the languages in which it was first writ- 
ten, and to the. investigation of the sacred text in its philo- 
logic and simple meaning. With what good effect these 
pursuits were followed out, may be seen in the works of, the 
Romanist commentators, Erasmus, Clarius, Cornelius a La- 
pide, the Jansenist Quesnel, and the learned Benedictine, 
Augustine Calmet ; and among the Protestants, in the exe- 
getical labors of Calvin and Beza, Tremellius, Grotius, Mini- 
ster, Louis de Dieu, Crozius, and Bengel. 

In Germany, the Protestant commentators, under the influ- 
ence of the skeptical spirit which pervaded Europe toward 
the latter end of the last century, gave way to the tempta- 
tion of compromising with the prejudices of infidelity by 

* Rabanus Maurus, Victor de St. Hugo. f Angelom. 

{ John Scotus Erigena. 


reducing the Scriptures almost to the level of human com- 
positions, and of ignoring or explaining away whatever is 
supernatural in the events they record, or supra-rational in 
the doctrines they inculcate. In this deplorable error the 
early Socinians led the way, and they have been followed with 
strides too firm and rapid by the whole tribe of Continental 

. Ift our day, thanks be to God, a wholesome reaction has 
taken place ; and the more Christian and evangelical ex- 
positions of Tholuck, Olshausen, Hengstenberg, Delitzsch, 
and several others,, are every day rising into a higher ascend- 
ant over the Lessings, the Bauers, the Pauluses, and the 
Bretachneiders of a school whose cold and hopeless words had 
'struck the Church with a palsy which no power can heal but 
the power of the Cross. 

Our own British Christianity has been mercifully sheltered 
from this destructive blight; and, in the department of 
biblical exposition, the divines of England, while they may not 
have been equal to their Continental brethren in the breadtli 
and depth of their philological learning, have nevertheless left 
them immeasurably behind in soundness of exegetio prin- 
ciple, and ability in expounding the Holy Scriptures, so as to 
promote the edification of the Church in faith and virtue, 
and the fulfilment of the merciful designs for which the Bible 
was given to mankind. 

^ In the erudite criticism of the Scriptures, the nine folio 
volumes of the Critici Sacri* formed an Appendix to the 
London Polyglot worthy of the learning and labor which had 
been displayed in that grand undertaking. This work, which 
embodies the principal commentators, Kouiauist and Pro- 
testant, who had flourished since the Reformation, was ably 
condensed (with additions) in the " Svnoi-sis Cbiticorum" 

* London, 16C0. Republished at Amsterdam, with a Supplement, 
1702, in twelve volumes. 


of Matthew Poole in five volumes folio. These enterprises 
were followed up by the more indigenous labois of Ainsworth 
on the Pentateuch and Psalms, Caryl on Job, Owen on the 
Hebrews, Grill in a learned Commentary on the Bible which 
is not sufficiently known, Lightfoot's Talniudical illustrations 
of the New Testament, Hammond and Whitby on the same 
book, and Bishops Patrick, Lowth, etc., on Isaiah and the 
other prophets ; nor, among several others who might claim 
to be mentioned, should we forget Campbell on the Gospels, 
and Macknight on the Apostolical Epistles. 

Then, for the more substantial and homile.tic class of Com- 
mentaries, there were, Burkitt, who published in that way 
the substance of his own preaching ; Matthew Henry, a vene- 
rable name, loved by all good men, whose comments have a 
heavenly charm which has attracted and improved the most 
lofty minds in all religious communions ; Wesley, who ex- 
presses more in a sentence than many writers in whole pages; 
Doddridge, gracious and devout ; Scott, masculine in reason, 
as well as steadfast in faith ; Dodd, whose Commentary con- 
denses the best parts of Calmet, with matter supplied by his 
own resources and the-inedited papers. of other eminent scho- 
lars ; and, among the Methodists, Benson, who expanded &e 
notes of Mr, Wesley, adding much rich material from other 
sources ; and Coke, who, by the editorial labors of Mr. DreW, 
published a Commentary which, though not in all parts origi- 
nal, (being in fact a rifacimento of Dodd's,* just as the latter 
was of Calmet,) is nevertheless a thoroughly good and usefitf 
exposition of the sacred text.f 

* It is remarkable that the notes in Dodd, usually ascribed to 
Locke, are found to have been Cudworth's.. 

f Since then the Methodist press has issued the masterly disquisi- 
tions of Watson on part of the New Testament ; and the Commentary 
of Sutcliffe, abounding in reflections which have great unction and 


'Most of these English Commentaries are reducible to two 
classes. Some are dryly critical, without being popular; 
others popular, without being critical. Now- Dr. Adam 
Clarke seems to have entertained the idea of producing a 
work which should combine the advantages of both classes : 
sufficiently critical to aid the inquiries of the more serious 
student, and yet sufficiently popular to' serve the purposes of 
general edification. It was his purpose to give a lucid view 
of the "several books of Scripture, as to their dates and au- 
thors, {heir scope and connection; to expound the original 
text in a manner to adapt itself to the deficiencies of the 
English reader; to elucidate difficulties in chronology, his- 
tory, and Oriental manners ; to develop the grand doctrines of 
revelation, and apply the whole to the great concerns of hu- 
man salvation and duty. 

To the accomplishment of this task he brought qualifica- 
tions which proved his designation to it by the providence 
and grace of God : strong and expansive powers of intellect ; 
an almost universal erudition ; a faith of the heart, inwrought 
by the Holy Spirit, whose words he sought to interpret; and a 
resolute will, which bore him up in body and mind, from year 
to year, till the great labor should be completed. The seven 
Tgifte which, according to Augustin, the true expositor of 
Scripture must possess — reverence, piety, science, fortitude, 
prudence, cleanness of heart, and heavenly wisdom* — the 
Lord had vouchsafed him in blessed degrees, and by the dili- 
gent improvement of them, in this and the' other endeavors 
of his devoted life, these graces increased with his years 
He was moved also by a conviction of responsibility. Ho 
heard the voice of (iod. 

The studies of his earlier years had always a bearing on 

* Timor, pie tan, tcitntia, forlitudo, consilium, purgatio eordii, tapi- 
entia. — Aug., Dt DoclrinA Ckritt., ii., 7. "~ 



this grand, design. From the beginning he felt the need of 
being taught by God to understand his own word. Refer- 
ring to his. comparatively juvenile life, he says: "No man 
ever taught me the doctrine I embraced; I received it singly 
by reading the Bible. From that alone I saw that justifica- 
tion by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and the sanctiflcation 
of the heart, were all attainable. These I saw as clearly as 
I do now ; and from them I have never swerved. I often 
read the Bible on my knees. When I came to a passage I 
did not fully understand, I said, ' Lord, here is thy Book : it 
is given for the salvation of man : it can be no salvation to 
him unless he understand it : thou hast the key of this text, 
unlock it to me;' and, praying thus, I generally received 
such light as was satisfactory to myself." Thus he had grace 
to approabh the fountain itself and draw. 

We have seen that, while in th§ Norman Isles, he applied 
himself to the study of the Septuagint, in reading which he' 
noted down the most important differences between that vene- 
rable translation and the Hebrew text, with which he had 
already become familiar. In reading thus carefully the ver- 
sion of the Old Testament in the Alexandrine Greek, he 
acquired an intimacy with the peculiar diction of the New 
Testament writers ; and, when afterwards at Dublin he begad 
some notes on the latter, he saw £he necessity of a thorough 
and critical perusal of the printed text of the New Testa- 
ment, as collated with the manuscripts, either by himself, so 
far as his opportunities reached, or through the labors of 
Wetstein and others, and especially of Griesbaoh, who was 
at that time zealously employed on his edition of the Greek 
Testament.* To make his investigation more minute and 

* This department ,of biblical critioism has in our day been brought 
to an almost consummate perfection by the efforts of Lachman, Ttf- 
cliendorf, and our own countryman, Tregellea. 


definite, he resolved to translate the text in writing, a 
task which was begun in June, 1794, and finished in eleven 
months. In January, 1797, he commenced the same process 
with the Hebrew and Ghaldee text of the Old Testament, 
and this written translation was finished in about fourteen 
months. Along with the translation, he had made occasional 
notes and memoranda for his future work. Two months after, 
May 1st, 1798, he began in good earnest the actual Commen- 
tary, commencing with the Gospels. 

He now wrote with a vigor and determination which ena- 
bled him, toward the close of the year, to give a good account 
of the work in a letter to Mr. Butterworth : 

"A few moments before your letter came, I was on my 
knees returning .thanks to God for supporting and assisting 
me in my work, and enabling me to bring one part of it to 
completion. What think you ? I have finished Matthew : 
I have done more, I have finished Mark. I began May 1st, 
wrought till July 22d, when I set off for Bristol. I oould 
not get things to bear,, to recommence, till September 22 J. 
Yesterday, December 1st, I finished Mark, having spent, in 
the whole, about five months. While in London, though 1 
labored hard, I could make but little way ; so that nearly 
three months were employed on the first twelve chapters of 
Matthew, occasioned by the miserable place where I was 
obliged to study. Any that had less of the mule's disposi- 
tion than I have, would have abandoned it in settled dislike. 
Since I came here, my labor has been great indeed — constant 
and severe preaching, and early and late writing. For nearly 
a month past I wrote nine or ten hours a day, some days 
more. Mark was easy work, after Matthew; yet even on 
Mark I have written upward of one hundred close quarto 
pages — Jhe whole seven hundred and forty pages. 

" You will b« able to form some estimate of the quantum 
of letter-press this will make, when I inform you that each 


page contains about twenty-eight lines ; total, twenty thou- 
sand seven hundred and twenty lines; each line, thirty-four 
letters ; total, seven hundred and four thousand four hundred 
and eighty letters. You will at once see that I must not go 
on at this rate, or the book will be unbuyable. I assure you 
I' do not intend it. My aim from the beginning was to make 
the comment on Matthew perfect, not by saying all that might 
be said, but by saying all that should be said. To the best 
of my knowledge, I have not inserted one useless sentence. 
I have no doubt but that Gospel is the grand source from 
which -all the apostolic doctrines have been drawn.* I have 
written six hundred pages upon it, and I humbly trust no„ ' 
godly mind will ever feel wearied in reading them. I haye 
done every thing in my own way. I have .no more of my 
translation revised for the comment, and it will take nearly a 
month to prepare Luke and John to go on with. I bought 
Geddes's Bible, expecting much, got nothing, and sold it." 

In the course of the following year he had got so far into 
the New Testament as to venture to advertise it, and he tells 
Mr. Butterworth that he had got a couple of pages set up, 
" merely to see how it will look. .1 have made up 

my mind to send the old text alongside of the new. The 
book will be better received on tWs account, and be more 
useful. My translation will suffer no loss by the comparison. 
I have had this specimen taken off on royal quarto. You 
must not let it go out of your hand. My plan of interpret- 
ing the Transfiguration is new, so far as I know; and I do 
not wish that everybody should have it before the work sees 
the sun. At first view there will appear little difference in 
the two translations. I do not wish it, except where essen- 
tially necessary, but the fifth and eleventh verses will show 

* Here, and in a few other places, the careful reader may qualify 
the Doctor's statements. 


the importance of making the Holy Spirit speak English as 
he speaks Greek. I did not choose this portion because of 
any difference between the texts, but merely because the sub- 
ject was complete m it." 

He reached the end of the fourth Gospel in November, 
1799; but, though so far in readiness, the work was not con- 
signed to, the printer till nearly ten years after. He accounts 
'for this delay in a Prospectus issued in 1809, by the sudden 
rise in the price of paper, and the announcement of another 
work on the Scriptures by a friend. "As. I could not bear the 
thought," he says, " of even the most distant appearance of 
opposition to any man, I gave place, being determined not to 
attempt to divide the attention of the public, nor hinder the 
spread of a work which, for aught I then knew, might 
supersede the necessity of mine." That work, however, had 
been for some time completed, and the subscribers supplied 
with their copies; and, as repeated requests reached 31 r. 
Clarke for the production of his long-promised Commentary, 
he hesitated no longer. No doubt the interval had conduced 
to improve the work, by giving space for reconsideration and 
correction. By this time a considerable portion of the Old 
Testament was in readiness; so that the actual publication 
began, not with the Gospels, but with the Book of Genesis. 
In the interim he had also changed the plan of the work. 
His own translation of the sacred text had been intended to 
be printed at large. This idea was now abandoned, and the 
now translation incorporated, in successive clauses or frag- 
ments, in the notes, as often as a modification of tho author- 
ised English text seemed to be required. 

Mr. Butterworth now followed up the Prospectus with 
another of his own, in which he solicited subscriptions for 
the work on the author's behalf: an appeal which was 
responded to by a list of sixteen hundred subscribers. amon<; 
whom were several noblemen, and other persons of rank and 


influence belonging to the Church of England, as well as to 
the Dissenting and Methodist communions. Mr. Butter- 
worth, the publisher, was so encouraged by this demonstration, 
as to resolve on striking off ten thousand copies on common 
paper, and one thousand on a finer paper and larger page. 
Nor did he over-calculate; for, in fact, not only did the 
eleven thousand copies go off, but nearly eight hundred more 
were required before the first demand could be supplied.* 

We have no room to enter more largely into these details, 
or to follow our commentator minutely in the further prose- 
cution of his toilsome career. Let it suffice to say, that 
when the Pentateuch and Gospels were thus launched upon 
the world, and the expositor was committed with his sub- 
scribers to the plighted engagement of completing the series 
of the holy Books, the great body of the Old Testament and 
apostolic writings remained to be yet undertaken ; and that 
the accomplishment of this task, and that, too, with the 
heavy responsibilities of his ministerial charge, his duties in 
the Record Commission, and the completion of several other 
works, rendered the next fifteen years of his life one almost 
unremitting agony of labor. At length, in great exhaustion, 
he approached the goal. In the beginning of March, 1825, 
ho remarks to a friend : " For some time past I have suffered 
much in my eyes : it is impossible they should last. All 
winter I have written several hours before day, and several 
alter night. Under this they have failed. But I want to 
get the Commentary done. I have got to the end of the 
sixth of the twelve minor prophets; so there are six more to 
do. Jeremiah and Daniel are finished and printed. Of 

* Successive editions of Dr. Clarke's Commentary, both in Eng- 
land and America, have placed it among the most extensively 
circulated works of the kind in existence. 


Esekiel, thirty chapters. You see, then, that I am fully in 
sight of land." 

At length the hour of its completion struck. Adam 
Clarke closed the work of his Commentary, as he had begun 
it so many years before, kneeling in the presence of God. 
" It will give you pleasure," writes he to a friend, " to hear 
that on March 28th, 1825, at eight o'clock in the evening, I 
wrote upon my knees the last note on the last verse of the 
last chapter of Malachi. Thus terminated a work on which 
I have painfully employed upwards of thirty years." On 
referring to the last note itself, we find the following devout 
and worthy record: "To God the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost," be eternal praises. Amen. I have this day com- 
pleted this Commentary, on which I have labored above 
thirty years, and which, when I began, I never expected to 
lire long enough to finish. May it be a means of securing 
glory to God in the highest, and peace and good-will among 
men upon earth ! Amen. Amen." 

He says elsewhere : " In this arduous work I have had no 
assistants, not even a single week's help from an amanuensis; 
no person to look for commonplaces, or refer to an ancient 
author, to find out the place and transcribe a passage of 
Latin, Greek, or any other language, (which my memory had 
generally recalled,) or to verify a quotation ; the help ex- 
cepted which I received in tho chronological department 
from my own nephew, Mr. John Edward Clarke T have 
labored alone for twenty-five years previously to tln> work 
being sent to the press, and fifteen years have been em- 
ployed in bringing it through the press ; so that nearly forty 
yean of life have been so consumed." 

We have the family memorandum, that on the evening that 
the work was finished Dr. Clarke came into the parlor, and, 
without speaking, beckoning to his youngest son, took hint 
away to the study. On entering, he found the usual signs of 


work all laid aside ; the books marshalled in their shelves, 
the study-table clear, with the exception of a copy 'of the 
Bible, and the whole place with an unwonted appearance of 
repose. The Doctor then spoke : " This, Joseph, is the hap- 
piest period I have enjoyed for years: I have put the, last 
hand to my Comment. I have written the last word 1 . I 
have put away the chains that would remind me of my. bond- 
age ; and there" — pointing to the steps of his library-ladder 
— " have I returned the deep thanks of a grateful soul to the 
God who has shown me- such great and continued kindness. 
I shall now go into the parlor, tell my good news to the rest, 
and enjoy myself for the day." 

Of the Commentary we have no need to say any thing in 
the way of description : a book found alike on the shelves of 
the peer and the peasant is too well known to require this. 
Its merits and blemishes have long ago been pointed out, and 
call for no new criticisms... One leading feature in its. char- 
acter is independence in thinking. English commentators in 
general are not distinguished by originality! Several of 
them have notoriously borrowed from their predecessors, and 
appear to have been either unable or unwilling to think for 
themselves. Clarke, while he availed himself largely of the 
labors of other scholars in almost every branch, yet knew 
how to transmute their material so as to subserve his own 
ideas,- and to give it the imprint of his personal mind. But 
the greater number of his expositions are emphatically his 

In a work, then, thus marked by original thinking, we are 
prepared here and there to find traces of a strong idiosyn- 
crasy. We should recollect that the author is a man who is 
used to decide for himself, and that " with a will ;" so we 
are not to be astonished if he even argues that Judas will be 
saved, or that the serpent which tempted Eve was a baboon. 

This latter opinion, it must be confessed, when first enun- 


ciated, took the learned world by surprise ; and intelligent 
men who wished well to the author's enterprise felt some 
misgivings for the success of a work which proclaimed at the 
very outset a novelty so startling. Some critics assailed him 
with raillery, and others with reproach. The Doctor, iu 
general, was indifferent to attacks of either kind; but, in 
defence of this favorite opinion, he surmounted for once his 
dislike to controversial discussion, and met his antagonists in 
open fight— if that, indeed, .could be called open, in which 
his principal antagonist appeared with a visor. A writer in 
the Classical Journal had penned, under the. Arabic name of 
Al Te/teesh, " the Investigator," a series of animadversions 
on Dr. Clarke's interpretation of the word nachash, which 
called" forth a reply from the author in the same serial, in 
which the subject .receives a more extensive examination than 
he had giveu it in the Commentary, and is put before the 
reader in such points of view, and with such ingenuity, as 
to insure a respectful attention, if it fail to command his 
final acquiescence. The paper .in question will be found 
reprinted in the tenth volume of the Miscellaneous Works. 
He here admits that the word nachash, rendered " serpent" 
in Gen. iii. 1, sometimesvhas that meaning, but shows that it 
has others, and attempts to make out that it has another 
meaning in that text. 

A more grave error, in the estimation of many divines of 
• the day, was committed by the commentator in adopting, in 
•his potes on the Epistle to the Romans, the view of Doctor 
J6hn Taylor, as developed in his "Key" to that Epistle. 
But here Dr. Clarke should have the benefit of his own ex- 
planation, and we will hear him for himself: "In my notes 
on the Epistle to the Romans. I have entered at large into a 
discussion on the subjects to which I have referred in the 
Epistle to the Galatians ; and, to set the subject in a clear 
point of view, I have made a copious extract from Dr. Tay- 

398 " LITE OF THE 

lor's Key to that Epistle ; and I have stated that a consistent 
exposition of it cannot he given but upon that plan." Hereby 
we see " that the doctrines of eternal, unconditional reproba- 
tion and eleotion, and the impossibility of falling finally from 
the grace of God, have no foundation in the Epistle to the 
Romans. Taylor has shown that the phrases on which these 
doctrines are founded refer to national privileges, and those 
exclusive advantages which the Jews, as God's peculiar peo- 
ple, enjoyed, during the time in which that peculiarity was 
designed to last ; and that it is doing violence to the sense in 
which those expressions are generally used, to apply them to 
the support of such doctrines. In reference to this I have 
quoted him, and those illustrations of his which I have 
adopted I have adopted on this ground ; taking care never to 
pledge myself to any of his peculiar or heterodox opinions. . , 
In this sense alone those quotations ought to be understood, 
and my whole work sufficiently shows that Dr. Taylor's pecu- 
liar theological system makes no part of mine : that on the 
doctrine of the fall of man, the eternal Deity of Jesus Christ, 
of justification by faith in the atoning blood, and the inspira- 
tion and regenerating influence of the Holy Ghost, we stand 
in diametrical opposition to each other. Yet this most dis- 
tinguishing difference cannot blind me against the excellence 
I find in his work." And again: "If I have quoted, to 
illustrate the sacred writings, passages almost innumerable 
from Greek and Roman heathens, Jewish Talmudists, the 
Koran, and from Brahminical polytheists, and these illustra- 
tions have been well received by the Christian publio, surely 
I may have 'liberty to use, in the same way, the works of a 
very learned man, and a most conscientious believer in the 
books of Divine revelation, however erroneous he may be in 
certain doctrines which I myself deem of vital importance 
to the creed of an experimental Christian. Let it not be 
said that, by thus quoting largely from his work, I tacitly 


•recommend an Arian creed.* I no more do so than the 
Indian matron who, while she gives the nourishing rind of 
the cassava to her household, recommends them to drink of 
the poisonous juice which she has previously expressed from 
it." These explanations ought to suffice with all reasonable 

■ There was yet another topic introduced by the commenta- 
tor, which led to a more serious controversy : I refer to his 
doetrine regarding the Divine Sonship of the Redeemer. I 
allude to it with extreme reluctance, as it is the only embar- 
rassing subject in the entire biography of this most excellent 
servant of God : embarrassing on account of any implied 
censure that it might associate with his honored name. And 
this painful feeling of reluctance, I venture to believe, is 
participated by my reverend fathers and brethren who are 
the promoters of the present volume. I presume it is not 
their wish, and it cannot be my own, to give a renewed promi- 
nence to a subject so unpleasant. I am thankful to recollect 
that but few words are needed in alluding to it, as the con- 
troversy has long ago beep brought to a peaceful termination. 
When the question was discussed, it was not discussed in 
vain. It was done in sorrow on both sides, but was produc- 
tive, after all, of beneficial results, in bringing a solemn truth 
of revelation more fully before the eyes of the Church, and 
in giving a greater clearness, vigor, and steadfastness to tho 
faith of believers in the Divinej and therefore eternal, Son- 
ship of the Saviour of the world. 

The infirm and glimmering intellect of man can know no- 
thing of the tremendous mysteries of the Infinite Nature, but 

* Taylor is often styled an Arian ; but his views are considerably 
lower than those which that term will convey to the well-informed 


by revelation. We must go to the word of God, with an 
humble and believing heart. 

It is there revealed, not only that in the Divine Subsistence 
there are Three Persons, but that the relation of the Second 
Person to the First is that of Son. 

Dr. Clarke was a devout believer in the Trinity, but he 
demurred as to this relationship. He considered that the 
name of "the Son of God" was a Messianic title of the Re- 
deemer, as the consequence of his having been born of the 
Virgin : he denied that it was descriptive of his mode of 
existence prior to the Incarnation.* 

Now revelation affirms that the only-begotten Son was in 
the bosom of the Father ; that God so loved the world as to 
give his only-begotten Son ; that the Son of God w£s seat • 
into the world ; that the Son of God was manifested in the 
flesh; that the Word, who was in the beginning with God, 
and who was God, was made flesh, and dwelt among us ; and 
that the glory which he then made manifest was the glory of 
the only-begotten of the Father. 

But Dr. Clarke believed that the Second Person of the 
Trinity, who was thus revealed in the flesh, was thencefor- 
ward to be known as the Son of God, but not as the eternally 
begotten of the Father; because, according to his view, no 
such relation was possible. 

In this respect, and this only, Dr. Clarke made a certain 
divergence from the faith of the catholic Church. The 
Church from the beginning has taken those emphatic state- 

* The grounds of this denial he has given at large in his notes on 
St. Luke i. 35. They are mainly rationalistic ; and, when dealing 
with Heb. i. 3, the Doctor himself uses a mode of reasoning in dir»ot 
opposition to them, a mode which has been justly pronounced "per- 
fectly satisfactory to the most fastidious of his opponents." 


ments of Scripture in their true and literal meaning, and has 
evermore taught and testified that the Second Person of the 
Trinity is, by an ineffable and eternal generation, the Son of 
God. That such is the sense in which the Church has re- 
ceived these scriptures is evident from those solemn enuncia- 
tions of doctrine we call the Creeds. Even before the 
increasing heresies of the fourth century rendered an oecu- 
menical declaration of that kind necessary, (at the Council 
of Xictea,) most of the great Christian communities had 
given their profession of faith in this particular, as well as 
others : That, for example, of Antioch, where the disciples 
were first called Christians : " I believe in our Lord Jesus 
Christ, his only -begotten Son, born of him before all worlds. 
True God of True God, by whom also the worlds were framed 
and all things made." Or that of Jerusalem, the mother of 
us all, as it is found in the Catechetics of St. Cyril, bishop 
there in 345: "I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only- 
begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; 
the true God, by whom all things were made." 

In the great assembly of Nicrca, the universal Church 
pronounced the faith once delivered to the saints, and called 
upon the faithful, in all ages to come, to abide in the same 
truth: "We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of 
God, the only-begotten of the Father; that is, of the sub- 
stance of the Father ; God of God, Light of Light, very 
God of veryGod; begotten, n«t made; consubstantial with 
the Father ; by whom all things were made." 

No man had a greater abhorrence of Arianism than Dr. 
Adam Clarke; yet with this main point in the testimony of 
the Church against Arianfsm, he could not bring his mind to 
concur. He had embraced, and ever held fast, certain ra- 
tionalistic arguments, which prevented him from believing 
that " the Son of God was begotten of the Father before all 



This unhappy twist in the Doctor's judgment was formed 
in his juvenile years,* but never rectified. An intellectual 
conservative in the strictest sense, whatever he mentally ap- 
prehended he no more renounced, and, when far advanced in 
life, could affirm that he had never changed his creed. 

When the gravity of the subject is considered, we are not 
surprised that the thesis laid down so formally by the learned 
and influential commentator, and defended by him with such 
an array of. argument, should have called forth the most 
serious reclamations from his brethren in the ministry ; but 
we are surprised that these remonstrances, though expressed 
in respectful terms, and enforced by earnest reasonings out 
of the Scriptures, should have been represented by some as 
betraying an animus of personal dislike to the Doctor, and 
as amounting, in fact, to a sort of ecclesiastical persecution. 
Certainly such divines as William France and Eichard Wat- 
son had as good a .right to show their opinion as Dr. Clarke 
had to state and defend his own ; nor did the practical asser- 
tion of this right involve the necessity of indulging in either 
disposition or language discordant with the veneration which 
they entertained for the sanctity of his life, the amplitude of 
his learning, and the dignity and honor of his name. 

Writing a simple biography, and not a theological treatise, 
I abstain from any attempt to give an analysis of this contro- 
versy, content with recording the circumstances under which 
it arose. The discussion of the subject itself would require 
a volume. Happily, the question has been sufficiently settled, 
, , . — «— 

* So early as about 1787, he had written the outline of his faror- 
ite argument against the Eternal Sonship ; and in a conversation with 
Mr. Wesley, took the opportunity to read the paper to him. His 
venerable friend, from the short reply which he made, eyidently 
thought that it would be sufficient to remind him that, in embracing 
such a doctrine, he was in danger of departing from the faith of the 
true Church of God. 


and determined, too, on the right side. Moat of the 
pamphlets in which the discussion was carried on are now out 
of print; but whoever would master the entire argument 
should study Mr. Watson's " Remarks,"* and the " Inquiry 
into the Doctrine of the Eternal Sonship of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, by Richard Treffry, Junior."f The latter work, 
distinguished as it is by genuine theologic science, consum- 
mate criticism, and Christian . temper, has taken an abiding 
place among the classics' of English divinity. From many 
years of intimate friendship -with the lamented author, and 
repeated opportunities of conversation with him while en- 
gaged in the labor of that work, I can testify that, so far as 
Dr. Clarke was personally concerned, he had in Mr. Treffry 
an admirer whose reverence for him was almost boundless. 

This, it should be remarked in conclusion, is the flaw in 
the Doctor's otherwise sound and scriptural theology. No 
man was more steadfast than he, in life and death, in his 
affiance in the great truth that Jesus Christ his Redeemer 
was "over all, God blessed for ever;" and to make this 
truth known to the world by preaching it, writing it, and 
living it, became his peace, his glory, and his joy. As to 
the peculiar point in which he differed from his brethren, he 
never gave prominence to it, except in the statements in his 
Commentary upon a very few texts. In his public preaching, 
he carefully abstained from making any allusion to it ; and 
that from a sense of honor, as a. minister of a body which, 
in common with the Chureh at large, held a doctrine in this 
one solitary instance opposite to his own ; and from a persua- 
sion, no doubt, that, could he otherwise make it with pro- 
priety an element in his popular addresses, it would be very 
far from promoting the edification of the people.]; 
■p — ^ _ _ _ — — — ^^— — 

* Works, vol. vii. f Third Edition. London : Mason. 1849. 

% It deserves to be added, that when Dr. Clarke was elected Presi- 

404 LIFE 01" THE 

Dr. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures i.«, 
on the whole, one of the noblest works of the class in the 
entire domain of sacred literature. It is a thesaurus of 
general learning ; and, as the exposition of an Eastern book, 
it abounds very properly with a great variety of Oriental 
illustrations, philological, ethnic, and antiquarian. In amass- 
ing these, he drew from the most choice lexicons of the 
Hebrew and cognate languages ; from the rabbinical writings, 
either the authors themselves, or the collections of Schoett- 
gen, Lightfoot, and others, who have made selections of the 
most eligible places in those writings which are available for 
the commentator; from translations of the Indian mytholo- 
gists, lawgivers, moralists, and poets; and from a whole 
library of historians, naturalists, travellers, and writers on 
the archaeology of tho Oriental nations. When we consider 
that this great undertaking was begun, continued, and ended 
by one man, and that man engaged in the zealous and faith- 
ful discharge of so many public duties ; instead of reasona- 
bly complaining that here and there it has a blemish, or that 
its general plan is not in all respects filled up as completely 
as could be desired, our wonder is rather excited that he 
should have brought it so far as he did toward perfection. 
The Commentary is not equal through all its parts. On some 
books he is more diffuse and effective than on others. The 
Pentateuch and the Gospels are done well ; and so are the 
apostolical Epistles. On the historical books, also, he is in 
general satisfactory. But on the prophetic portions of the 
word of God he commonly fails. This, in one way or 
another, is a fault common with nearly all our popular exposi- 

dent, after the Conference had pronounced on the Sonship question, 
he was most studiously exact in eliciting from each candidate for 
ordination a statement of his agreement, on this point, with the 
theology of the body. 


tors of the Bible. In effect, we are greatly in want of a 
Commentary which, interpreting the oracles that relate to 
the future destinies of our world, upon sound principles, 
avoiding the rationalistic tendencies of the spiritualizing 
school on the one hand, and the* extravagances of the ultra- 
millenarians on the other, shall be worthy of the present 
advanced stage made in the study of prophetical theology. 

But, in comparison with the substantial excellences of the 
work, these defects appear almost inconsiderable. Its 
luminous expositions of the Law and the Gospel; its earnest 
and forcible appeals to the conscience of the sinner and the 
unbeliever; its rich counsels for the well-understood wants 
of the Christian's inner life ; its endless exhibitions of gene- 
ral knowledge, and its valuable aids to the students of those 
holy tongues in which revelation took its first recorded 
forms — all will render this book the companion and the 
counsellor of multitudes as long as the English language may 
endure. The man who accomplished it achieved immortality, 
his name having become identified with an indestructible 
monument of learning and religion : 


Regalique situ pyramidum altius ; 
Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impotent 
Possit diruere, aut innumcrabilis 
Annorum series, et fuga temporum." 






Time glides on, and moves so insensibly that the shadows 
of the departing day come on many of us unawares. The 
lapse of years beguiles man of his strength, as the autumnal 
winds rob the woods of their foliage. The change may be 
slow, but it is sure; and the process, imperceptible for a 
while, becomes apparent enough in its effects. 

But he who enjoys the faith and hope of the gospel is not 
dismayed by these tokens of decay : he connects them with 
the purposes of the unalterable "Will which decrees that in 
this way man shall throw off, what is corruptible in his 
nature, that mortality may be swallowed up of life. The 
Divine pledges of this blessed consummation fill him with 
expectations which contribute to render the latest days of his 
earthly life the most serene. He gives himself to the work 
of preparation, and waits. Meanwhile all is tranquil. What 
Jean Paul Richter says of himself in his last days, the 
Christian ought to say without misgiving : " I make ready 


for my journey, and take leave of the many companions I 
have loved. Strangely mingles the future with the present 
in my soul, while maturity passes away Into age. Neverthe- 
less the cloudless evening sky spreads itself out in roseate 
glory."* .."..- 

So it was with Adam Clarke. His last days were his best. 
" Mark the .perfect man, and behold the upright ; for the 
end of that man is peace." In resuming our narrative, we 
must remind the reader of the pressure of bodily infirmity 
brought on by excessive exhaustion, under which Dr. Clarke 
was obliged to Write these admonitory words : " Matters are 
come to £his- issue : if I do not at once get from many of my 
avocations, I shall soon be incapable of prosecuting any. I 
must hide my head in the country, or it will be shortly hid- 
den in) the grave." It was in this time of extreme necessity 
thatsftjovidence opened the way to such a retreat, in which 
he could repair for a time his wasted constitution, without 
ceasing altogether, from those mental and religious activities 
which had become, essential to his enjoyment of life. Mill- 
brook, a compact little estate about ten miles from Liverpool, 
was offered to him on conditions so liberal, and accompanied 
with such munificence on the part of the proprietor, that he 
was enabled to make it his own ; and thither, after some time 
spent in rebuilding the house, he repaired with his family in 
September, 1815. 

His frame of mind on this occasion is intimated in a letter 
to Mr. Boyd, in which he says : " That I shall leave Lon- 
don, as a place, without regret, I am certain ; but it will 
not be so with respect to many who are in it. I do not 
like to be put out of the way of old friends; and, as to 
forming new ones, that is nearly out of the question. So 

* Biographie, 6«* Epitttl. 


I must take care to keep up a good understanding with 
myself, which I cannot do without being on good terms 
with my God; and on those terms I cannot be, without 
having at all times a conscience sprinkled with ^be atoning 

This new arrangement in his temporal condition did not 
interrupt Dr. Clarke's public relation to the Methodist 
ministry. His name stood on the Minutes as one of the 
preachers of a neighboring circuit, in which he fulfilled the 
duties assigned him; lending, too, his powerful aid to the in- 
terests of Methodism in various parts of the country. At 
home, he revived the habits of his youth in horticulture and 
the tillage of the field, to the great improvement both of the 
property he had purchased, and of his own health in body 
and mind. Nor was he inattentive to the moral culture 
of the neighborhood. The rustic people among whom his 
lot was now cast were, most of them, nominally Roman 
Catholics — ignorant, poor, and ill cared for. He lost no time 
in preparing a small chapel contiguous to his house, where 
the gospel was preached in plain words, and in a friendly, 
loving spirit; and this means of usefulness was supple- 
mented by a Sunday-school, attended by both Protestant 
and Eomanist children, who were instructed by the mem- 
bers of the family, aided by the mistress of the village- 
school. In time, the good effects of these measures were 
shown in the moral and domestic improvement of the neigh- 

Dr. Clarke had that year been requested by the President, 
the Rev. John Barber, to preside at the Irish Conference ; 
and upon the death of that good and upright man, which 
occurred suddenly in the course of the year, the leading 
ministers of the Connection united in urging the Dootor to 
undertake the mission which their departed friend had 
assigned him. He complied with this request, and went, in 


June, by way of Scotland. His visit to the Irish brethren 
•at this Conference proved unusually important, as a juncture 
had occurred in their affairs in. which his influence and 
oonnsel were of the greatest service. The Irish societies 
had been much disturbed on the old question of the Lord's 
Supper in their own chapels. Many of the trustees con- 
tinued adverse to this practice, and were disposed to use all 
the legal power they had, to prevent it. Two documents 
of an intimidating tone had been sent into the Conference : 
one from the attorney -general, and another, expressed in 
strongly threatening terms, from the trustees themselves. 
Dr. Clarke dispelled the fears which these menaces had 
produced in the minds of some 6f the preachers; and the 
issue of a long debate was a vote that the wishes of the socie- 
ties for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper from their own 
ministers should be complied with. Several points in the 
address Dr. Clarke gave on this occasion are of consequence 
in relation to Methodism in its widest range. For ex- 
ample : 

" 1. Mr. Wesley had no plan, except that of following the 
openings of Providence: had he followed a plan, it would 
have been of man, and not of God. Our doctrine is from the 
revelation of God, and our discipline likewise. Mr. Wesley 
was only the instrument. 

"2. In following Providence, Mr. Wesley was compelled 
to do many things opposed to his prejudices: these, I well 
know, were of the High-Churoh character. It was accord- 
ing to his great principle of action that ho ordained Dr. 
Coke for America, as he did others for Scotland. He fore- 
saw that the Methodists would be a great people, and there- 
fore ordained preachers to keep up the spirit of tho Church 
of England; but Providence never intended that any in- 
dividual should be a successor to Mr. Wesley. When ho 


died, Dr. Coke came to Dublin, to put himself at the head 
of the Irish Methodists; but he, (Mr. Clarke,) beinsr then 
in Dublin, opposed it. On the same subject there was in 
England a competition between Dr. Coke and Mr. Mather, 
which was overruled by the appointment of District-Meetings. 

"3. The introduction of the sacraments originated in the 
demands of the people. They urged them at the British 
Conference. By not yielding to their earnest entreaties, we 
sacrificed too many members. When the Plan of Pacifica- 
tion was at length made, (by which the sacraments were 
introduced under defined conditions,) the consequences were 
blessed ones." 

4. As to the then present state of Methodism, Dr. Clarke 
stated that he was competent to judge of its spirituality and 
prosperity. "I have been twice President of the British 
Conference; and in the grand' climacterical year of Me- 
thodism all its great offices were in my hands. I had access 
also to government, knew its sentiments of Methodism, and 
had full evidence that it had not lost its character or influ- 
ence. I have met more classes in my circuit thau any other 
man, and have seen no loss of spirituality. I will not 
make invidious comparisons between the Methodists in Eng- 
land and Ireland; in both they are the children of my <iod 
and Father; but this I will say, from perfect acquaintance 
with the subject, that they have in England more grace and 
more stability since the introduction of the sacrament than 

And with more particular reference to the Irish preachers, 
he added : 

" I have had access to the inmost archives of the state, 
(on affairs relating to Ireland,) where their characters were 
properly appreciated. In a particular conversation which I 
had witli Lord Sidmouth and Mr. Perceval, they spoke most 


honorably of their usefulness in the time of the Rebellion. 
They have been bulwarks to the Church itself, against the 
attacks of Popery and other enemies." 

In relation to these matters, Dr. Clarke wrote about this 
time : " I know Methodism better than any man in Ireland ; 
and can say that preaching in Church-hours, and the sacra- 
ments from the hands of our preachers, have been marked 
by the most distinguished approbation of God. The Me- 
thodists in England are a thousand times more attached to 
the Church of England and her service than they ever were 
before; and the method which we were before taking to drive 
them to the Church, was driving them, and is now driving 
those of Ireland, into Dissenting congregations. Our useful- 
ness to the Church is now greater than ever." 

In parting with the Conference, he urged the Irish min- 
isters to be steadfast and unmovable as to the ground they 
had now taken with respect to the sacraments. " My advice 
to you all is, Look up to God, and keep close together : 
never think of measuring back your steps to trustee-craft 
again. Give up the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, when 
you go to drink the new wine in the kingdom of God. Let 
neither fear nor flattery induce you to it one moment sooner. 
Had you had it twenty years, ago, you would have been 
doubly more numerous, and doubly more holy. God has 
broken your chain ; if you mend it, or suffer dthcrs to do so, 
you will have his curse. If the genuine Methodists of 
Ireland stand fast in their fiery trial, God will make you 
both great and glorious. Look for your help from him. 
Do not suppose that any man's money is necessary to the sup- 
port of Christ's cause ; for ' the earth is the Lord's, and the 
fulness thereof " 

In the course of the year 1818,. Dr. Clarke was actively 
engaged in several parts of the country in opening chapels, 
preaching anniversary sermons, and helping the cause of 

412 LlflE OP THE 

foreign missions by setting their claims before assemblies 
■who gathered in successive thousands, attracted both by the 
goodness of the object and the celebrity of the advocate. 
While he was in London at the anniversary of the Weslcyan 
Missionary Society this year, an incident occurred which was 
fraught with a lasting satisfaction to his mind — his com- 
pliance with a request, made to him by some eminent persons, 
to take under his care and instruction two Indian priests who 
had come to England in quest of the knowledge of the true 
God and of his Christ. 

"While on the platform," says he, in a note to Mrs. 
Clarke, " I received a letter from Sir Alexander Johnstone, 
then within sight of land, on his return from the Island of 
Ceylon ; and in about half an hour' another note was handed 
to me from the same gentleman, stating his actual arrival, 
and adding a wish to see me as soon as possible. On the 
following day I had an interview with him, when he told me 
that he had brought with him two high-priests of Buddhoo, 
who had left their country and friends, and put themselves 
before the mast, exposing themselves to all kinds' of priva- 
tions, in order to cbme here to be instructed in the truths of 
Christianity; that he had paid their passage, but, in order 
to try their faith and sincerity, had kept them in the meanest 
place, and at the greatest distance from himself, during the 
whole voyage." 

It appears that Sir Alexander was at that moment in un- 
certainty as to what was to be done to give these young men 
the protection they needed, combined with that teaching, in 
the hope of receiving which they had encountered the 
terrors of the great deep. He asked the Doctor's advice. 
" I think," was the reply, " our missionary committee will 
take them ; but if not, I will do honor to their motives, 
trust in the Lord, and take the whole burden upon my- 
self." This gatfe great satisfaction to Sir" Alexander, who 


assured him that he should not bear the burden alone. The 
■Doctor writes : 

" May 10th. — I have to-day received the two priests from 
«n board the vessel at Blackwall, and will give you a little 
description of them. 

" Munhi Rathana is twenty-seven years of age, and has 
been high-priest eight years. He was educated, as was the 
other, from youth, for the priesthood. Dherina Rama is 
twenty-five years old, and has been between six and seven 
years in the priesthood. They are cousins ; about five feet 
six inches, and quite black : they have fine eyes, regular 
features ; and the younger, a remarkably fine nose. There is 
a gentleness and intelligence in their faces which greatly 
impressed me. Their hair, which is beginning to grow, (for, 
as priests, they are always shaven,) is jet-black. Their 
clothing is imposing in appearance. It consists of three 
parts : a sort of tunic of brocade, with gold and silver 
flowers; upon this they have a sash,. that goes round their 
waist; and, over the whole, a yellow garment. 
They have now European shoes and stockings One of 
them has a screen made of silk, to which there is a massive 
handle of ivory. This, as high-priest, he used in the temple 
before his face, while performing the recitations from their 
sacred books They eat sparingly, but refuse nothing placed 
before them of solid food, and take no fluid but milk or 

The missionary committee wished to put them entirely 
under the Doctor's care. He accepted the charge, took 
them to Bristol, where he had to preach for the missions, 
and then conducted them to Millbrook. The characteristics 
of these two Asiatics, under the immediate observation of 
the Doctor for nearly two years, were such as engaged his 
affection, and called forth expressions of unequivocal ap- 


"It will give you satisfaction," says he, writing to the 
committee, " to know that they still behave well, and are 
gentle and submissive. They are very diligent in their 
studies, and have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, par- 
ticularly religious knowledge, as well as for reading and 
writing English ; which is of vast importance, as I am satisfied 
that the English language, under God, is the key of their sal- 
vation. They are both men of erudition in their way, with, 
as far as I can judge, a commanding eloquence. They are 
deeply read in the ethics of the Brahmin and Buddhoo 
systems. In these respects their acquirements are immense. 
I have myself read some works of this kind; and, well 
knowing the subtle and specious reasons which both those 
systems can bring forth in behalf of their ethics and phi- 
losophy, I do not a little wonder at the subjection of these 
men's minds to the truths of the gospel. I see them at the 
feet of Christ." 

After a residence of twenty-two months at Millbrook, in 
the course of which Dr. Clarke had become entirely sure of 
their sincerity, and satisfied with their proficience in the 
truths of Christianity, he complied with their solemn request, 
and admitted them to the sacrament of baptism. This took 
place in the presence of an immense congregation in Bruns- 
wick chapel, Liverpool, on Sunday, March 12th, 1820. 
After the Liturgy, the Doctor, before . proceeding to the 
ordinance, gave an account of the previous life of the two 
catechumens, and detailed such circumstances of their recent 
studies and experience as had satisfied him that they were 
now fully eligible for admission to the privileges of the Church 
by the rite about to be administered. He then left the desk, 
and went to the font, where they were standing. The con- 
gregation joined in the hymn — 

"Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 

In solemn power come down," etc. 


When the Doctor came to the lines — 

" See these sinful worms of earth. 
Bless to them the cleansing flood," 

he laid his hands upon their heads ; the two priests hurst 
into tears, and the whole assembly seemed to feel, in death- 
like stillness, that the power of the Highest was indeed 
overshadowing them. The office for the baptism of adults 
was then" recited with heartfelt fervor ; the elder candidate 
receiving the name of Adam Sree Goonah Munhi Rathana ; 
and the younger, that of Alexander Dherma Rama. 

During the service, the latter, who, through fear of death, 
had long been subject to bondage, had that fear pntirely 
removed; and the elder, Adam, on returning to his room, 
fell prostrate on the ground, and spent a long time, weeping, 
in prayer and praise. 

A few weeks after this event, having completed the pur- 
pose for which they had come to England, they grew anxious 
to return; and arrangements were made for that object. 
One thing ought not to be omitted, as showing their disinter- 
ested sincerity : they declined to receive presents. Among 
other offerings, Mr. Sherburn, of the plate-glass manufactory 
at Ravenhead, sent them two fine toilette-glasses. They 
admired them, but were silent. Dr. Clarke spoke to them 
pointedly of the kindness and attention of Mr. Sherburn in 
making them the presents ; when, Dherma, after some hesita- 
tion, said, " We are obliged to Mr. Sherburn, but we will not 
have them. We came to England without money, without 
goods, without clothes, except our priests' garments : we will 
take nothing back with us but one coat apiece, the gospel of 
Jesus Christ, and the books you have promised us. No, if 
God give it," (i. e., assist us,) " we will take no presents : 


we will receive nothing but the gospel of Christ; for that 
alone we came."* 

They returned to Ceylon in company with Sir Richard 
Ottley, (who was going out to that island as judge,) carrying 
with them the devout and loving wishes of their revered 
friend, who gave expression to the solidity of his good 
opinion of them in a formal certificate, which was accom- 
panied by an official letter, on the part of Lord Bathurst, 
addressed in their behalf to the authorities in Ceylon. 

Some months after, Dr. Clarke received from them the 
intelligence of their safe arrival. " My dear father," writes 
the elder, Adam Rathana, " I am here, comfortable and 
happy : however, I will tell you my good generally. Since 
we sailed from England, we have every Sunday had prayers, 
and sometimes a sermon : every morning, and evening we 
have met in Sir Richard's cabin to read the Bible and pray; 
at times some of the other passengers have jomed. We 
have three Sundays had the Lord's Supper: indeed, my 
mind sometimes rejoices concerning my soul. 

" Every day Judge Ottley orders us to go to him for im- 
provement; indeed, by his teaching we have got great 
knowledge : also he is very kind to us. Your book teaches 
us great knowledge : he talks to us out of it, and my mind is 
greatly satisfied with him all the time. On the 

30th of October we arrived at Colombo : the governor very 

kind to me, and put me under the Rev. Dr. S , who 

came from England, colonial chaplain. With him I study 
Christian religion, and I hope in a short time to be able to 
preach the salvation of Jesus Christ. When I was with you, 
I told you I wish to have some power to preach the gospel, to 

* Many particulars about these two converts may be found in the 
twelfth volume of Dr. Clarke's Works. 

Ri;V AD^M CLARKE, LL.D. 417 

heathen people. My wish, I- thank God/ he has' done for 
me;, and- 1 have now exceeding happiness in receiving this 
great Messing. My dear father, I will never forget you. 
Yon cut me off some of. your hair, and, when I think of you, 
. I take it in my hand, and, seeing that, my mind is full of 
sorrow, wanting you. My daily prayer is for you and your 

The subsequent life of these cousins gave good evidence of 
their true-hearted establishment in the faith. The elder 
devoted himself to the service of the Church, and received 
an appointment as a chaplain ; and the other adopted the 
life of a civilian, and became a mohunderam, or inferior 
magistrate. I met only lately, in a periodical of the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel,*' with an extract of a let- 
ter from the present Bishop of Colombo, who mentions the 
pleasing fact that a son of the elder had just then been 
ordained a deacon of the Church. His Lordship says : " It was 
gratifying to me last Sunday to admit to the diaconate another 
native laborer, after a probation of more than three years, in 
the service of the society, at Badulla, under the Rev. E. Moo- 
yart, of Newera Ellia. His name is George Adam Rathana. 
He is the son of a converted Buddhist priest, who was some 
years ago conveyed to England by the late Sir A. Johnstone, 
and confided to the care, of Dr. Adam Clarke for Christian 
education. ' I have known him long, having received him as 
thelrst divinity student in St.Thomas's College, where he 
gained the esteem and confidence of all." 

Reverting to the tenor of Dr. Clarke's life at Millbrook, 
we find him celebrating the coronation of King (leorge IV., 
*by a kind of domestic fete with his family and their neigh- 
bors. "We brought all our tenants together, even to the 

* " The Mission Field," May, 1857. 


least of their children, and gave them a dinner. They ate a 
world of beef, pies, pudding, and cheese, besides half-a- 
bushel of currants and cherries. To our work-people I also 
gave a holiday, and paid each man his day's wages ; and, 
when all was over, I gave each child a penny ; all above 
eight years old, a sixpence ; and to every grown person, a 
shilling. We sang and prayed, and afterwards I dismissed 
them. They were as happy as they could be. Our union- 
jack was flying all day : at sunset we struck our flag, and 
heartily prayed, morning, noon, and night, for the krng." 

The Conference had voted a loyal address to the new mon- 
arch, and Dr. Clarke was appointed to negotiate with the- 
Home Secretary about the time and manner of presenting -it. 
Lord Sidmouth informed him that the address might be pre- 
sented at a levee, by a deputation, or by an individual. As 
such an opportunity was not likely to occur, for some month*, 
his Lordship kindly offered to lay it. himself before His 
Majesty, taking occasion to remark in the same letter, that he 
knew "the influence of the Wesleyan Methodists to be 

In February, 1821, died that great preacher and expositor 
of the word of God, the Rev. Joseph Benson. Dr. Olarke, 
standing at the side of his death-bed, heard the theologian's 
last testimony: "My hope of salvation is, by grace, 
through faith." On the occasion of the funeral, at City 
Road, Dr. Clarke delivered a powerful address to the congre- 
gation which crowded the spaciafcis chapel. 

Among many journeys this year, he visited Epworth, to 
preach for the chapel. With his veneration for .the family 
of the Wesleys, the spot on which he then found himself 
was felt to be classic ground. " With reverence and strong 
religious gratification," he went over the old rectory, accom- 
panied by the resideht clergyman ; and then proceeded to the 
simple,, clean little church, hard by which was " a sycamore 


tree" which was planted by the hand of old Samuel Wesley. 
I brought away a piece of the outer bark. I have got a pair 
of fire-tongs which belonged to him, and which were bought 
at. the family-sale. There is also an old clock, which I rather 
think I shall have, and for which I left a commission." 

in these widely-extended journeys for the promotion of 
great charities for time and eternity, he was everywhere 
hailed with a hearty religious welcome, and heard with an 
almost unexampled reverence by the rich and j,he poor, who 
met together to receive from the lips of him who kept know- 
ledge the words of eternal peace. 

At the Conference of 1822, held in London, his brethren 
in the ministry offered him the token of their own heartfelt 
veneration by electing him to the presidential chair. This 
was the third time that honor was conferred upon him : a 
circumstance which had not hitherto occurred in the annals 
of the body. Dr. Coke had been President twice ; and since 
those days two eminent m%n, Drs. Jabez Bunting and Robert 
Newton, have held the office four times each. But in the 
present case the distinction was unique, and was no doubt 
intended as a homage paid to extraordinary virtue and 

At this Conference initiatory proceedings were entered 
upon toward a mission to the Zetland Islands, a work in 
which, as we shall have to record, Dr. Clarke took a per- 
sonal and a predominant interest. His official visit to the 
Irish Conference was made in connection, with a tour in 
Scotland, and in several neighborhoods of his native island. 
In the course of these peregrinations he found himself once 
more among the scenes of his childhood. He entered the 
church where ho was baptized. " I went," says he, " within 
the communion-rail. With silent solemnity and awe, I there, 
in the presence of Him whose I am, and whom I serve, 
mentally and in a deep spirit of prayer, took upon myself 


those vows which had so long before been made in my name 
and on my behalf." 

Standing by the graves of some of the members of his 
family in the adjoining place of the dead, he made the reflec- 
tion : "Here lie several of my ancestors ; and I go to lie most 
probably in another land, and shall not, in all likelihood, 
be gathered to my fathers. But I too shall be found, when 
all the quick and dead stand before the Lord ; and whereso- 
ever my dust may be scattered, the voice of the Lord ehall 
call it together, and I shall stand in my lot at the end of the 
days. May I then be found of him in peace, without spot 
and without blame, and have an entrance into the holiest 
through the blood of Jesus!" 

In Ireland he found the societies still in an uneasy condi- 
tion. At a public meeting, convened in, Belfast, "one pro- 
posing the question to me, ' Is Methodism now what it has 
been ?' I answered it in a way very different from what 
was, I believe, expected, and intended by it: 'No: it -is 
more rational, more stable, more consistent, more holy,anore 
useful to the community, and a greater blessing to. the world 
at large.' And all this I found no difficulty in proving."* 

It had been published for him to preach at Bandon at 

twelye o'clock ; and he proceeded thither for that purpose 

His entrance into the town was greeted as if he had come 

(as indeed he had) an ambassador from a King. The fetreet' 

■ * 

* On his route to Ireland by the north he found the General As- 
sembly in session at Edinburgh ; when he took the opportunity of 
witnessing the manner in which that reverend body conducts its 
proceedings. Dr. Clarke could not help drawing in his own mind 
a contrast between the rigid formality with which the business was 
transacted, and the genial yet well-ordered freedom of the "con- 
versations between, the Wesleyan ministers at their Annual Confer- 
ence;" and expressed it, on leaving the church, by whispering to 
his companion, "Methodism for ever!" 


was lined with a multitude waiting his arrival, many of whom 
had come from various towns, and some from a distance 
of thirty miles. On reaching Dublin, he presided at the 
Conference ; in the course of which the Dublin Missionary 
Meeting had the long-remembered advantage of his counsels 
and exhortations. 

' The Irish Conference is preliminary to that in England ; 
and scarcely had the Doctor arrived at home from a journey 
of two'thousand miles, before he was again on the way to the 
latter, which was held that year in Sheffield. He once more 
gave up the seal of office, to his old friend, the Rev. Henry 
Moore, and concluded the duties of his presidency with a 
Charge at the ordination of the junior ministers, distin- 
guished by a powerful and solemn unction, while he ex- 
horted them to " take heed to themselves and to the doc- 
trine," and to " continue in these things," so as to save 
themselves and those who should hear them. The official 
sermon, which he delivered at the usual ..time, was on a theme 
which called out all the powers of his sanctified mind: "God 
is, a Spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in 
spirit and in truth." , 

It was at this Conference that Ebenezer Chapel, a large 
Gothic structure which the Methodists of Sheffield had lately 
ejected, was dedicated for Divine service ; and Dr. Clarke 
was the morning preacher.- Toward the conclusion of the 
sermon, owing to some false alarm, (created, it was thought, 
for a wicked purpose,) one of those panics took place which 
have been to« often attended by fatal effects. But, through 
the* good providence of God, no great disaster occurred. 
This being the third instance of the kiifd in which a similar 
shock had been given him, the Doctor expressed a resolution 
to preach no more at the opening of a chapel. 

An accident, which befell him shortly after the Conference, 
had a bad effect on his health, which became so disordered 


as to lay him aside for a time altogether. On the 14th of 
September, he takes occasion to lament that he was too weak 
to repeat even the Lord's Prayer ; and on the 17th, that he 
could not speak five minutes at a time — so soon is the 
strength of the most vigorous man laid low. An idea, which' 
had been present with him some time, now gained ground in 
his mind — namely, that a residence in a more southerly part 
of England would be more conducive to his welfare. This 
was strengthened by the consideration that his famrly were 
then nearly all settled in London. He now observes that he 
should be glad " if any small place, from three to fifty miles 
from London, could, be obtained;" adding, "But we should 
rather be thinking of our last change, than of making an- 
other removal." An indication was given, however, of his 
resolve to migrate from the north, by the appearing of his 
name, on the Minutes of the next Conference, in connec- 
tion with the London West Circuit. In the course of son\e 
lew months, an advantageous offer having been made to Dr. 
Clarke for the Millbrook property, he finally disposed of it; 
and, after a short and intermediate residence at Canonbury 
Square, Islington, he took up his last earthly sojourn at 
Haydon Hall, near Pinner, in the county of Middlesex. In 
this salubrious and beautiful spot, about sixteen miles from 
London — near enough for ordinary convenience, yet suffi- 
ciently secluded for retirement — the Doctor soon felt him- 
self at home. His flagging health recovered much of its 
wonted energy ; and, his soul being replenished with increase 
of grace, he dedicated life anew to God in humble depend- 
ence on that preventing and sustaining power which alone 
could enable him, in all his works, begun, continued, and 
ended, to glorify his holy name. 




The fallen heart of man is not so utterly abandoned and 
debased as to have lost all sensibility to tbe praiseworthiness 
bf the things that are pure, and honest, and of good report ; 
for, among the heathens themselves, the wreath was given 
to the patriot, and shrines and statues rose to the fame of the 
wise and the just. Nor does Christianity discountenance 
such tributes to social worth. Religion attests her venera- 
tion for those who have lived for the public good, by in- 
scribing their names on her temples; and the enlightened 
of all nations speak with reverence of Westminster Abbey, 
and like solemn places, as spots sacred to all humanity. The 
recollections they inspire create a wholesome influence on 
society at large, as the well-earned honors thus awarded arc 
not only- memorials to the dead, but incentives to virtuous 
effort among the living. 

The true Christian has, indeed, a higher reward in view 
than any of these things can yield him. They arc not the 
recompense to which he aspires — compared with whioh the 
most glittering prizes of the world are only meteors in a 
'changing sky. And if, instead of these honorable awards, 
dishonor and death would be the issue of his efforts, he would 
labor on, in the promotion of human welfare, to do the will 
of God. But if, on the other hand, his fellow-men recognize 


in him a merit which calls, forth some tokens of commenda- 
tion, he delays not to consecrate that tribute " to the greater 
glory of the Most High," by employing the increasing influ- 
ence it may confer upon him, as a talent to be improved in 
his service and to his praise. 

Adam Clarke, as a scholar and author, met with as great 
a measure of scientific and literary honors as falls to most 
men in the republic of letters. King Solomon has written 
that " a man shall be commended according to his wisdom :" 
if this rule holds good, as it did in the instance of him whose 
course we are reviewing, the amplitude of the laudatory 
testimonials with which he was greeted will sufficiently prove 
the estimate his contemporaries had formed of him, as one of 
the master-spirits of the intellectual world. * . ■ * 

From the ancient University of Aberdeen he had received, 
in 1807, the diploma of Master of Arts. The. application to 
the faculty for its conferment, made by the late Professor 
Porson, was perfectly unknown to Mr. Clarke; who,. as soon 
as he became aware of the circumstance, wrote to -Mr. Per- 
son as follows: "It is only within a few hours that I. have 
been informed of a request made to you by one of my friends 
for your recommendation to King's College, Aberdeen. This 
was utterly without my knowledge, nor had I even the 
slightest intimation that any thing of the kind was pro- 
jected. I have such high notions of literary merit,-arid the 
academical distinctions to which it is entitled, that I would 
not in conscience take, or cause to be taken in my behalf, any 
step to possess the one, or to assume the other. Every thing 
of this kind should come, not only unbought, but unsolicited. 
I should as soon think of being learned by proxy, as of pro- 
curing academical honors by influence; and, could one 
farthing purchase me the highest degree, I would not give it. 
Not that I lightly esteem such honors ; I believe them, when 
given through merit, next to those which come from God; 


but I "consider them misplaced when conferred in conse- 
quence of. recommendation in which the person concerned 
has any part, near or remote. As I wish to stand as high as 
justice will permit in' your good opinion, and as I should 
justly conclude I had deservedly forfeited it if known to 
hunt after a title, I deem it necessary, on the hint I have 
received of this matter, to trouble you with these lines. 
What you have 'said of me I know not, but I am satisfied 
you would say nothing but what is kind and just; and to 
deserve and to have the smallest measure of the approbation 
of a man who stands at the head of the republic of letters, 
wtould be to me a very high gratification." 

The faculty of King's College had already become too well 
acquainted with Mr. Clarke to be disinclined to meet the 
•venture of the great Cambridge professor; and the degree 
wa« immediately conferred. -The newly-created Master was 
thus, advised of the honor by Professor Bentley, under date 
of January 31st, 1807 : 

' '*I have the pleasure to announce to you that the Univer- 
sity and King's College, Aberdeen, have this day unani- 
mously conferred the degree of Master of Arts on Mr. 
Adam CJarke, member of the Philological Society of Man- 
chester, and author of several literary works of merit. Mr 
Scott is the promoter in this faculty, and I was obliged to 
him for seconding me in my proposal. Let me assure you, I 
look not on this as the measure of your merit; but it may be 
considered as a step ; and, while I live, I shall not cease to 
wish, and (as far as it may be in my power) endeavor to 
promote, your due honor and fame." 

Some thirteen months afterward the senate of King's 
College attested their proper appreciation of his learning and 
labors by creating him Doctor, of Laws. This act was 
announced to him in most complimentary terms by Mr. 
Bentlev. under date of March M. 1808 : 


"I have the pleasure to inform you that this University 
has this day given another proof of its estimation of your 
merit, by unanimously voting to you the highest designation 
in its gift, that of LL.D. Permit me to add my sincere con- 
gratulations on the occasion, and to wish that you may lon^ 
live to enjoy the rewards and fruits of your useful and 
meritorious labors. You are already as much possessed of 
the degree as it is possible to be ; but I shall soon have the 
honqr to transmit to you the demonstration of it in the sign 
manual of all the members of the Senatus Academicus." 

It may be added, that so entirely were these transactions 
divested of all pecuniary relationships, that the college 
refused to accept even the customary fees given on those 

In 1813 Dr. Clarke was elected a Fellow of the Antiqua- 
rian Society. His nomination, which had the signature of 
one of the commissioners of the State Records, having been 
suspended at Somerset House for the usual period of six 
weeks, his election was unanimous. This connection with 
the Antiquarian Society was attended both with pleasure and 
profit to him, from the congeniality of the studies carried on 
by its members with those in which all his life he felt a- 
peculiar interest. 

The Royal Irish Academy inscribed Dr. Clarke's name 
among those of its members in 1821 ; a distinction which 
gave him the more satisfaction, from the circumstance that it 
was a token of esteem from his own countrymen. 

A similar mark of respect was shown by the Eclectic 
Society of London — an association consisting only of men 
who have distinguished themselves in ^literature or science. 
The chancellors of the Universities of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge were at that time the vice-patrons of the society ; the 
patron, H. E. H. the Duke of Gloucester, whose seal w:i* 
affixed to the diploma. 


The Geological Society of London enrolled the Doctor as 
an Associate in 1823; and in the same year the Koyal 
Asiatic Society elected him a Fellow. He had also the 
honor of being .instituted a Member of the American 
Historical Institute. 

It should be observed, that, as none of these distinctions 
had been sought by Dr. Clarke, so they were not overween- 
ingly doted upon when received* He " bore his faculties 
meekly :" in truth, they gave him at times more pain than 
pleasure. He walked humbly with God, and with men; 
still ambitious, not of the laurel-wreaths that fade away, but 
of the crown which is incorruptible. 

It is a factj however, that from all ranks of society Dr. 
Clarke received most unequivocal tokens of real respect. 
Among the members of the Church of England, distin- 
guished laics and dignified clergymen made no secret of their 
personal regard for the learned Methodist divine. A plea- 
sant incident illustrative of this took place at an anniversary 
meeting of the Prayer-Book and Homily Society. Dr. Clarke 
was on the platform, which was crowded by some of the 
ilite of the Church. One of the speakers took occasion to 
lefer to him, as " the worthy Doctor, who, of all the men I 
know who are not of our Church, comes the nearest to it 
both in doctrine and friendship :"' whereupon Dr. Clarke, in 
a speech which followed, ventured, in alluding to the refer- 
ence to himself, to state his own # connection with the Church 
i>y baptism, confirmation, and communion; adding, "If, after 
all, I am not allowed to be a member of it, because, through 
necessity being laid upon me, I preach Jesus to the perish- 
ing multitudes without those most respectable orders that 
come from it, I must strive to be content ; and if you will 

* His mind had too far outgrown things of that kind to be satis- 
fied with them. 


not let me accompany you to heaven, I will, by the grace of 
God, follow after you, and hang upon your skirts." Mr. 
Wilberforce, who was sitting beside the chair, rose, and in 
his usual animated style said : " Far from not acknowledging 
our worthy friend as a genuine member of the Church, and 
of the Church of the first-born whose names are written in 
heaven — far from denying him to be of the company who 
are pressing in at the gate of blessedness — we will not indeed 
let him follow; he shall not hang on our skirts, to be as if 
dragged onwards ; we will take nim in our arms, we will bear 
him in our bosoms, and carry him into the presence of his 
God and our God/' 

On the publication of his little manual, " The Traveller's 
Prayer," he received complimentary letters from the Bishops 
Blomfield, Ryder, and Herbert Marsh. The latter p»clate 
told him that, though long accustomed to read, study,' and 
admire the Liturgy of the Anglican Church, he felt that Dr. 
Clarke's discourse on the Third Collect developed beauties in 
it which he had never seen before. Blomfield, Bishop of 
London, gave him a general invitation to visit him at Frilham 
Palace whenever he could make it convenient. On one 
occasion, after a frank conversation, as they were descending- 
the stairs toward the hall-door, his Lordship quoted in Latin 
the well-known sentence : " Seeing you are such a man, I 
wish you were altogether our own." The Bishop, liked Dr. 
Clarke's simple, genuine character, as well as his learning. 
He was a frequent reader of his Commentary. 

The late Earl and Countess of Derby took several occasions 
of testifying the veneration and regard they had. learned to 
entertain for him. Their personal acquaintance with him 
began after he had come to reside at Millbrook. He received 
(to quote a letter of his own) "a polite message, stating 
that, if agreeable to me, they would wait on me for the pur- 
pose of inviting me to Knowsley Hall. I fixed the next day 


at twelve ; and they game. There were thirteen 

persons, all nohles." Much conversation took place. Among 
other topics, the countess, who seemed " far, very far from 
being indifferent to the life of God in the soul," asked him 
ibr a copy of his sermon on " Salvation by Faith," which he 
presented to her ladyship, with the kindred discourse on the 
" Love of God." This led to other visits on both sides, and 
not without some good improvement. 

Among the members of the royal family, there were some 
who -showed a personal respect for Dr. Clarke. His Com- 
mentary was not only in their libraries, but often in their 
hands. The Duke of Kent, the father of our august sove- 
reign, attended personally at City Road Chap«l, to hear the 
Doctor preach for the Eoyal Humane Society,. and the Duke 
•f Sussex gave him repeated evidences of a more than ordi- 
nary esteem. 

That illustrious prince, among other excellent traits of 
character, was distinguished by an ardent love for biblical 
learning. His own knowledge of the sacred tongues was 
more than respectable, and his library contained a magnifi- 
cent collection of the Scriptures in the principal languages 
and editions in which they had been given to the world. 
The duke had fifteen hundred Bibles, and for many years he 
spent two hours every morning in reading the Scriptures. 
Now Dr. Clarke had a copy of the London Polyglot which 
contained in the Epistle Dedicatory a laudatory reference, by 
Walton, to Oliver Cromwell.* . The Protector dying before 
the actual publication of the' work, this passage was sup- 
pressed, and the epistle modified so as to dedicate the Poly- 

* "Primo au/cm commemorandi quorum favore chartam <) vectiga- 
libut immuntm habuimus, quod quinque abhine annis (»«'/. 1052) i con- 
cUto ttaretiori primo concetium, po»t*a & Serenissimo D. Pkotectoiib 
tjuique eoncitio, opens promovtndi eauii, benignt confirmatum tt contin- 
uaiutn erat." 


glot to the returning monarch. A fejr of the .republican 
copies, nevertheless, found their way into the world, and from 
that in his own possession Dr. Clarke reprinted a few exem- 
plars of the Dedication, in type exactly resembling the ori- 
ginal. To render the likeness still more complete, he tinted 
the paper by an infusion of /tobacco to the shade which time 
had given to the pages of the Polyglot. The Duke of Sus- 
sex, having heard of this, expressed a wish to have one of 
those sheets for his own copy, and made the request for it 
through his surgeon, William Blair, Esq., who was a personal 
friend of Dr. Clarke : upon which the Doctor wrote a letter 
to His Eoyal Highness, accompanied by the only copy of the 
reprinted Dedication which remained, and a reprint of the 
title-page to the fifth volume of the Polyglot, containing, the 
New Testament, found only in a very few copies. In ac- 
knowledging the gift through his secretary, Mr. Pettigrew, 
"His Royal Highness" (writes that gentleman) "cqmmands 
me to say that he trusts, whenever you come to Lendon, you 
will honor him with a visit, when he will be very pioud to 
show you his library, and be most happy to make the acquaint- 
ance of a man for whose talents and character he has so ex- 
alted an opinion." Dr. Clarke, in reply, "made his humble 
acknowledgments, and, should he come to town, would feel 
himself honored in receiving any commands from H* 8 Royal 

Being in London about three months after, to preach for 
the Missionary Society, the Doctor was invited to meet the 
royal duke at Kensington Palace. " I went," (says he, writ- 
ing to Miss Clarke,) "and was" received by His Royal High- 
ness in his closet, and was led by himself through his library, 
where he showed me several curious things, and condescended 
to ask me several bibliographical questions, desiring his libra- 
rian from time to time to note the answers down. Dinner 
came. The company, H. R. H. ; Dr. Parr, the highest Greek 


acholar in Europe ; Sir Anthony Carlisle ; the Rev. T. Mau- 
rice, of the British Museum ; the Hon. Gower, Colonel 

Wildmao, Sir Alexander Johnstone, Lord Blessington, Mr. 
Pettigrew, and Adam Clarke. We sat down about seven 
fi' clock, and dinner was over about half-past nine. I wished 
.much to get away, (though the conversation was to me unique, 
curious, and instructive,) fearing your mother would be 
uneasy. I cannot give you the conversation, but you may 
judge by the outline. 

" I was informed I must remain till all the company had 

departed, which was about twelve o'clock. When they were 

all gone, the duke sat down on the sofa, and beckoned me to 

.come and sit beside, him, on his right hand, and he entered 

for a considerable time into a most familiar conversation with 

me.. " At last a servant in the royal livery came to me, saying, 

'Sir, the carriage is in waiting.' I rose* up, and'His Royal 

.Highness, rising at the same time, took me affectionately by 

.the hand, told me I must come and visit him some morning 

when he was alone, (which time should be arranged between 

jpe and his secretary,) bade me a friendly ' good night,' and 

I was then conducted by the servant to the door of the palace, 

when, lo and behold ! one of the royal carriages was in wait- 

.ing, to carry a Methodist preacher, your old weather-beaten 

father, to his own lodgings." 

In the following November Dr. Clarke presented the duke 
with copies of the parts of his Commentary which had then 
been completed, and, along with them, a letter describing the 
history of the work, and the studies which had produced it. 
Referring to the pains he had taken tp set the doctrines of 
the Bible in the clear light of evidence, he adds : " On all 
such subjects I humbly hope your Royal Highness will never 
consult these volumes in vain. And if the grand doctrines 
which prove that God is loving to every man, and that from 
his infinite and eternal goodness he wills and has made pro- 


vision for the salvation of every human soul, b* found to be 
those alone which have stood the above sifting and examina- 
tion, it was not because they were sought for beyond all 
others, and the Scriptures bent in that way in order to favor 
them, but because these doctrines are essentially contained in 
and established by the oracles of God." 

The Duke of Sussex, acknowledging this offering in a long 
autograph" letter, expressed his belief in the Divine origin 
and truth of the holy volume, and his despair of ever being 
able fully to understand all its mysteries. This, however, 
says he, "ought in no wise to slacken our diligence, nor damp ' 
our ardor, in attempting a -constant research after the attain- 
ment of truth; as we may flatter ourselves, although unable. 
to reach the goal, still to approach much nearer to its portals. 1 ' 
And again : " The objects, besides many others, which seem 
to have occupied the greatest and most valuable part of your 
active life, cannot fail of being most interesting to the histo- 
rian, the theologist, the legislator, and the philosopher. To < 
these details I shall apply myself; and, as my heart and mind 
improve, I shall feel my debt of gratitude toward .yo^ daily 
increasing — an obligation I shall ever be proud to own." 

In April, 1825, he was favored with another invitation to 
Kensington. The Doctor was accompanied this time by his 
son, Mr. J. W. Clarke, who had been included by His Royal 
Highness's command. Writing to Miss Clarke, her father 
says : " We reached Kensington about six- o'clock. _ The duke' 
soon made his appearance, (for by this time the whole com- 
pany were in the pavilion,) and, singling me out, took me by 
the hand, and led me forward to two Indian gentlemen, say- 
ing, 'Here is my friend, Dr. Adam Clarke, who will speak 
Persic or Arabic with any of you.' Previously to dinner, 
all. the company were ushered into the room where the MSS. 
and early printed books are kept. The Duke of Hamilton 
remarking upon the probable . date of some of them; from 


their illuminations, John gave two or three opinions, herald- 
ically,* which were happy and decisive. The pro- 

fusion of plate was amazing. I ate about an ounce of turbot, 
and did n(& taste one drop 6f fluid of any kind. His Royal 
Highness two or three different times recommended viands 
from the head of the table to John, and pledged and sent 
him some Trinity College ale. He soon felt at home, and 
took his part in discussions on antiquities and heraldry, which 
were well received. The conversation referred to 

several pomts of language and criticism." 

Hitherto the Doctor had been the guest of the prince, 
but, on coming to reside % at Haydon Hall, he had the honor 
of receiving Hjs Royal Highness in more than one friendly 
visit. Oo the first occasion he was accompanied by Mr. Pet- 
tigrew, his librarian. Dr. Clarke received his august visitor 
with a true-hearted and genial politeness. During dinner, 
the prince entered freely into social and intellectual conver- 
sation, and spent several hours after with the Doctor among 
Ms books. Some time subsequently the duke made a second 
Visit, having previously intimated his wish to have the plea- 
sure of dining at Haydon Hall. He came as early as two 
o'clock, and employed the interval before dinner in reading 
portions of the Bible, and making references in Hebrew crit- 
icism.f He was greatly delighted with inspecting a set of 
Hebrew manuscripts which Dr. Clarke had been fortunate 
enough to purchase from the Vanderhagen family in Holland ; 
manuscripts which Kennicott mentions in the Introduction 

* In the art of heraldry John Clarke was second to very few. 

f The superintendent of the Windsor Circuit (the Rev. A. Strnchan) 
was at the Hall that day ; and, talking over the visit afterward, said, 
" Do you think, Doctor, that the prince is a converted man ?" " I do 
not know what you would do," replied he, " but I think I should not 
hesitate to give him a note upon trial." 

434 LIFE OS 1 THE 

to his great Bible, with the lamentation that with all hia 
efforts he had not been able to have access to them for colla- 
tion. It was just subsequent to this visit that the Rev. Jo- 
seph Clarke, the Doctor's youngest son, was apporhted chap- 
lain to the Duke of Sussex. 

In closing these details, we must remark that the venera- 
tion and honor in which Dr. Clarke was' held in his life* 
time, have now long survived his own appearance among us, 
and seem to gather new strength as years roll on. In the 
very week in which these lines are penned, the public news-' 
papers give an account of a meeting held in the court- 
house in the town of Coleraine for the purpose of founding 
"a memorial to Dr. Adam Clarke, in the erection of a 
Methodist chapel at Port-Stewart, in the parish of Aghels 
ton, where he was brought up ; and of a memorial obelisk 
and statue, to be raised at Port-Rush, as the most conspicuous 
site, and in the focus of observation for travellers and tour- 
ists to the Giants' Causeway." It appears that such a pur- 
pose has been formed not only -by the Methodists of fehgt 
part of Ireland, but by the great body of the most influential 
inhabitants. Among the names of the managing committee 
are those of a nobleman, Lord Robert Montague, a member 
of Parliament, five justices of the peace, the treasurer for Jhe 
county, seyeral military officers, four aldermen, a number of 
the clergy, and some of the principal landed gentlemen in 
that part of the kingdom; the chairman, J.. C. Knox, Esq., 
of Jackson Hall.* 

* This project has since taken its finally definite character. "The 
Adam Clarke Memorial," (under the patronage of the Right Hon. 
the Earl of Antrim, and John Crombie, Esq., J. P., D. L.J is to 
consist of a "school, church, and minister's bouse, at Port-Stewart, 
and an ohelisk and statue at Port-Rush, near Coleraine." The 
foundation-stone of the obelisk- was laid in September, 1867, with 
great public solemnities. The base is seven feet square, and eight 


Sdch demonstrations reflect an honor on those who make 
them, as well as on the character of him whom they are de- 
signed to commemorate. As opposed to the too common 
and* heartless ingratitude of the world, the veneration shown 
for men who have widened the horizon of human know- 
ledge, or helped to confirm our souls in virtue, is something 
beautiful and desirable. When human society shall be re- 
generated from its blind debasement, such benefactors will 
receive the reverence of nations. 

ftet high, from which the monument will rise to a height of forty- 
two fee£ ; which, taking the elevation of the site, will be equal to one 
hundred and twenty feet above the level of the sea. Close to the 
base will be the statue of Dr. Clarke, contributed by public offerings 
in America. Two eminent men from that side of the Atlantic repre- 
sented the Methodist Episcopal Church in the proceedings of the day : 
Dr. M'Clintock, lately editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review, and 
the Rev. W. H. Milburn, lately chaplain to the Congress. 




"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, 
and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a 
tinkling cymbal." The good works of the Christian derive 
their life and splendor from love, without which they would 
be "dead works," and nothing worth. Of this principle 
the venerable .man whose history we are now reviewing had 
an abiding conviction. That " vital spark of • heavenly 
flame," the love of God, kindled in his soul by the Eternal 
Spirit, revealed itself in a life of humble piety toward the 
great Supreme, and ceaseless efforts to promote the welfare 
of mankind. The more he knew of Christ his Saviour by a 
communion which grew more intimate with his years) the 
stronger were the impulses of his mind and heart to walk 
as He also walked who " went about doing good." 

This living Christianity took one of its many form* of 
expression in sympathy for the friendless poor, and espe- 
cially for them who were of the household of faith, whom 
he called "the representatives of Christ, and God's bes,t 
friends." A few words from an early letter, written in 
Guernsey, will show the nature of this feeling : " William 
Mahy, our local preacher, was obliged to put his four little 
innocents to bed in the daytime, and cover them Up, to pre- 
vent them from starving; not having a morsel of coal to 


burn, nor money 'to purchase any. Had a portion of the 
cash washed in the above way" (referring to a piece of extra- 
vagance) " been appropriated to the relief of this distressed 
good man, how gladly would the first scribe in heaven have 
registered it in the annals of eternity ! When I consider 
the suffering state of these 'more righteous than 1/ I can 
scarcely eat my morsel with contentment. If there is mean- 
ing in the expression 'a bleeding heart/ I think I~have it 
for the poor. My very soul seems to feel for them through- 
out the world, as my father, my sister, my mother, and 
my brethren. Forgive me, if, in detailing on this subject, 
Which oppresses my heart, I have forgotten to write about the 
full salvation yQU inquired after ; but is it not found in the 
compassions of Christ ? And were not these exercised in 
continual outgoings for the poor ? He lived for the poor, 
he died for the poor ; and blessed is he who remembereth 
the "poor, even supposing he is not able to help them. I 
know J. feel the spirit and power of Christ, as I feel love 
modified into compassion and pity." And this feeling led 
him to do whatever in him lay to relieve the distressed, and 
to do it in the Christian Way, without the trumpet-tongue 
of the Rharisee, and not letting his left hand know what hi.s 
right hand did. When he had little, of that little he gave 
willingly. He literally broke his bread and shared his 
morsel with. the hungry, and taught his children to do the 
same. We have given an illustration of this on a. former 
page.* Writing to Mrs. Clarke from the Bristol Conference 
in 1798, he says : " I have just found out poor Mrs. C — : — , 
with her mother and sister, living together in an indifferent 
upstairs room, St. James's Churchyard, Horaefair. I must 
give her something. But what shall I do? I have but 
2 «. 6<?. I must break in upon my Conference guinea." 

* See page 282. 


We transcribe these words with delicacy ; hut do it to show 
what manner of a man Dr. Clarke really was. In after-life 
when Providence gave him more, he was able to make his 
donations more weighty : " Give poor Ellen that guinea for 

me." " Give Mrs. a guinea for me." " I have just 

heard that Mr. has become a bankrupt, and is in great 

distress. Can you show him any kindness ? I have sent by 

Mrs. S two guineas, which you will give to him, with 

my love. Do not delay."* 

The exercise of his medical skill often gave him great 
consolation, as he was enabled thus to relieve distress and to 
save life. He exulted, also, in witnessing good done by 
others. Writing on a journey, he mentions an inscription on 
a house in Eochester with which he was delighted : it set 

forth that Mr. had by will bequeathed a certain sum to 

be laid out at all times upon poor travellers, " six of whom 
every night (provided they be neither rogues nor proctors) 
may have their supper and a night's lodging, and fourpence 
a man next morning." " Was not this noble ?" says he : 
" Peace to the manes of this honorable fellow I" 

He set others to do good, not only by the general tenor of 
his doctrine and life, but by organizing associations for works 
of mercy to the body and the soul. Of this the Strangers' , 
Friend Society is a blessed monument. 

But Dr. Clarke's benevolence took a wider range than the 
necessities of the body. Not content with supplying accord- 
ing to his power the hungry with food, and clothing the 
naked with a garment, but recognizing the loftier destinies of 
our nature, he used every means at his command to meet the 

* I find from his letters, that in his journeys in Ireland he went 
about with an open-handed' bounty among the poor. At Millbrook 
one severe winter he gave shelter and food to some twenty poor sailors 
from Liverpool. 

rev adam Clarke, ll.d. 439 

wants of the immortal mind. In the poorest orphan he 
beheld a being who could be brought to the knowledge of God 
as a Father, and become the heir of an endless life. To fur- 
ther the great cause of religious education was with him, 
therefore, a prominent duty; and by his long- continued 
appeals on behalf of Sunday-schools, those important institu- 
tions were greatly aided. ' But in the year 1830 his attention 
. was especially attracted to a providential opening for the esta- 
blishment of some day schools in certain destitute neighbor- 
hoods in that part of Ireland where he himself had spent his 
childhood. A Christian friend, Miss Birch, who had already 
greatly aided him in his charitable enterprises, now united 
with three other ladies in placing funds at his disposal for 
this good work. The Rev. Samuel Harpur, superintendent 
of the Coleraine Circuit, had corresponded with him on the 
subject, and pointed out such localities as, having been left 
in entire destitution, presented the strongest claims. These 
preliminaries were followed up by a personal visit on the part 
of the Doctor himself, who, in the spring of 1831, accom- 
plished a long itinerancy in the north of Ulster, "about Ma- 
gijligan, on Ahadowey; the upper parts of the parish of 
MooosqUin ; a pkce called Cashel, near the mountains of New- 
townlimavaddy, and on the side of the river Bann ; the sea- 
coast parts of the county Antrim ; Port-Rush and its vicinity, 
where there was a large and increasing population, and where 
for miles there was no schqol of any kind, nor any sort of 
instruction, and where, consequently, ignorance and vice had 
almost uncontrolled sway." As soon as the means were .in 
existence, he gave Mr. Harpur the power to commence opera- 
tions, so that, before his arrival, schools had been opened at 
Port-Rush and some other, places, and suitable masters engaged 
for those yet contemplated. We give a specimen from a 
copious diary kept on this pilgrimage of mercy : 

"April 13th. Mr. Holdcroft and myself left Coleraine in 


a car, and proceeded to Port-Stuart and Port-Rush. 
I have scarcely ever seen a sight more lovely : though the 
children are all miserably poor, and only half cloth'ed, they 
are all quite clean, their hair combed, and even their bare 
feet clean also. There are eighty children, and all behaving 
with decorum — thus strangely changed in their conduct and 
habits. Wicked' words no longer heard, and decency of beha- 
vior everywhere observable. They have not only- learned 
prayers, but how to use them. I discoursed with some of 
the principal inhabitants, who bore the strongest testimony 
to the great good already produced not only among the chil- 
dren, but also among their parents. They are at present ilT 
off for a place sufficiently large, and I am struggling hard to 
get a piece of ground, on which a chapel and school-house 
may be erected, and believe I shall ultimately -succeed/ • 

"April 14th. We set off again this morning to visit the 
schools in the hill-country. Here" (at CasheJ) "were seventy- 
five children, and not one pair of shoes among the whole. 
The children are in fine order, and promise well. The aspect 
of the country would almost affright one — the most bleak and 
wild that can be imagined: Never did charity sit down in. 
the form of an instructress more in her own character than 
in this waste. The school-house is large : I have agreed to 
take the place, pay the debt, and give £1 10s. to put it in 
repair. Every Lord's day it is now full of attentive hearers, 
for the master is a preacher. 

"April 18th. We went to-day to a place called Croagh, 
where the whole youth of a large and populous district have 
been long without education. It had been published that I 
was expected: When we got within a mile of the place, we 
saw squads of children, with their mothers, coming down the 
hills and over the moors from all quarters to the school-house, 
which is little more than half finished. So a farmer had 
prepared a barn meantime. I proclaimed an adjournment to 


the barn, about half a mile off; and, setting out, they all 
■filed after me, children and mothers. When at the place, I 
addressed the parents out of doors, and laid down the rules 
and conditions on which the children were to be admitted. 
Then, standing at the barn-door, I .admitted them, one by 
one, to the number of one hundred and thirty-three ; intro- 
duced the master; gave his character and qualifications; 
specified the sort of teaching the children were to receive ; 
the discipline under which they were to be brought : to learn 
their duty to God, to their parents, to each other ; to pray ; 
to avoid every evil in word and deed, in spirit, temper, and 
desire; to be industrious, cleanly, orderly, respectful to their 
superiors, affectionate to their relatives, kind and obliging to 
their equals. , After a good deal of exhortation, I then pro- 
ceeded to bring all the children out of the barn, laying my 
hands upon their heads, and praying to God for his blessing 
upon them all." 

Such is an extract, from this pleasing record of operations 
which resulted in the establishment of schools which have 
ever since been centres of intellectual, religious, and social 
benefit to the neighborhood where they stand. Toward the 
close ef his life, Dr. Clarke made them over to the care of 
the Wesleyan .Missionary Society. 

A yet more weighty undertaking was the establishment of 
a mission to the Zetland Isles. To this truly apostolic work 
Dr. Clarke brought the latest vigor of his life The youth- 
ful evangelist-in the sunny islarfds of La Mancho, now changed 
by the lapse of years to the gray-headed elder, bends his way 
to tell the inhabiters of the storm-beaten rocks of the " ultima 
Thule," the majesty and grace of the same Redeemer. 

It was at the Conference of 1822, the year of the Doctor's 
third presidency, that, in an extensive discussion on the mis- 
sionary agencies of Methodism, the late Rev. Daniel McAl- 
lum, M. D., laid before his brethren an impressive account 


of the almost destitute condition of the Zetlanders as to the 
means of religious instruction. Dr. Clarke listened to those 
details with more than usual interest. He had himself de- 
scended, on the mother's side, from a family which, from 
remote generations, lived the life of Scottish islanders in the 
Hebrides ; and this^ circumstance would probably give a finer 
edge to the sensibility with which he felt the speaker's 
appeals. Under the influence of these feelings, he rose, urged 
on the Conference the duty of taking the work at once in 
hand, and concluded by proposing that two missionaries should 
be thereupon appointed to the Zetland Isles. The difficulty 
as- to expenses he would not permit to interfere with the 
favorable leaning of the Conference toward the enterprise, 
already resolving that all he could do, or induce others to do, 
should be called freely into exercise to promote this plain 
work of mercy. Accordingly, two ministers, the Rev. John 
Raby and the Rev. Samuel Dunn, were set apart for the new 

No sooner had the Doctor returned from Conference, than 
he commenced operations for raising the necessary funds. 
There lived at that time at Pensford, near Bristol, a gentle- 
man of great honor and piety, Robert Scott, Esq., who, with 
his excellent lady, was always willing to help the preachers 
in their enterprises to make the Saviour known -to the nigh 
and to the far-off. To him the President made his first 
appeal, and with what effect the annals of that mission will 
never cease to show. Mr. Scott gave the promise of a hun- 
dred pounds per annum for the support of the missionaries, 
and of ten pounds toward every chapel to be built in the 
islands. In fulfilling this promise, he always exceeded the 
amount at first stipulated, while his admirable wife, and her 
sister, the late Miss Granger, of Bath, added also their hand- 
some donations. It should also be mentioned that Mr, Scott 
subsequently bequeathed the sum of three thousand pounds 


in trust for the Zetland missions. Dr. Clarke was one of the 
trustees. From the Honorable Sophia Ward, Miss Birch, 
Miss Williams, and other ladies, he also received considerable 
^mounts in addition, by which he was enabled to inaugurate 
this undertaking with a fair prospect of perpetuity and 

The brethren appointed began and continued the arduous 
task assigned them in the spirit of true Christian mission- 
aries. They went from isle to isle, in storm and sunshine 
alike, to dispense the word of life to a scattered population, 
who heard them with gratitude, and gave good evidence, too, 
that the gospel had come to them not in word only, but with 
powerful grace. In this work the two preachers had to 
endure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Their 
employment exposed them to much physical discomfort and 
danger, and their way was sometimes rendered the more dis- 
couraging by the opposition of the few Scottish clergy located 
in the islands. Though the state of the people sufficiently 
proved- that this evangelic help was painfully needed, those 
gentlemen were far from being disposed to accord it their 
welcome. ' This, however, did not deter the two brethren, or 
their successors, from doing their duty, and doing it with a 
blessed return. 

To describe tho minute and earnest interest which Dr. 
Clarke took in this mission would require details too multi- 
tudinous for our limits. By referring to the twelfth volume 
of his Works the reader will" find a variety of papers, geo- 
graphical,- statistical, epistolary, and narrative, all bearing on 
the subject. Twice the Doctor undertook a pilgrimage by 
land and sea to visit the missionaries on their far-off stations, 
to see the people for himself, and to preach among them the 
riches of Christ. The first voyage was in 1826. On account 
of his then advanced period of life, and his frequent ailments, 
the project gave Mrs. Clarke and the family no small uueasi- 


ness ; but their fears were allayed by the words of faith with 
which he addressed them. "It seems," said he, "a work 
which God has given me to do :. I must go on tijl he stops 
me. To sacrifice my life, at the command or in the work of 
God, is, as to pain or difficulty, no more to me than a barnt 
straw. My life is his, and he will not take it away out of the 
regular course, unless greatly to his glory and my good. 
If I am enabled to take the journey, fear not for me, for I 
shall *be most certainly supported through it. I am sure God 
will not bury me in the Northern Ocean." 

Of this expedition we have a full account in a journal kept 
at the time. On the 1st of June, witlu his son, Mr. John 
Clarke, he left London') and at Edinburgh he was joined by 
Messrs. Campion and Mackey. It was not till the 9th that 
they could secure a passage to the islands, which at length 
was accomplished in the Admiralty's cutter, the "Woodlark," 
Captain Frembly. "We got on pretty well till" (June 15th) 
"we came to the Pentland Frith. Here was a monstrous 
sea : tide conflicting with tide raised the billows to a" fearful 
height ; but, as the wind was fair, our cutter cut through all. 
Near the Fair Isle the wind changed, and blew a 'hurricane; 
the sea wrought and was tempestuous. We seemed to have 
arrived at the end of the globe, where nature existed in 
chaotic uproar. There appeared a visible rage and anger in 
every wave : such tremendous thunder, while the waves and 
the billows of the Almighty went over us. At 

length the angry wind chopped about, the storm became more 
moderate, and we had at least a fair gale, though the sea was 
still tremendous." On the 17th, they dropped anchor in 
Bressa-Bay, and the barren mountains of Zetland rose to their 
view. On ianding, he found three of the preachers, " who 
had been on the. look-out three days'." On the morrow, Sun- 
day, June 18th, he preached in the new chapel at Lerwick, 
"a light airy building, in every respect a credit to the place." 


The congregation large, respectable, attentive. The Sunday- 
school had eighty children ; the teachers, some of the most 
respectable of the youth of the town. On Tuesday evening 
he preached.again, and in a discourse on the " Sum and Sub- 
stance of Apostolic Preaching," (subsequently published,) 
gave an exposition of the doctrines of the Methodists. The 
rest of the week he spent in perambulations and passages 
among the islands, making minute observations on the coun- 
try and the condition of the people, and imparting to them, 
in conversation and public addresses, counsels which he 
thought would do them good. He speaks highly of the hos- 
pitality he received from several families, but notes that, on 
returning to Lerwick, "what with the incessant pain I had 
•suffered, my different water-passages, the long and fatiguing 
walks, and this last ride" (among the mountains and rocks) 
" on the ponies, I was most excessively wearied — indued, so ill 
as to be obliged to take to my bed, where I suffered more 
pain than I have felt for years." 

"June 29th. I have met all the preachers, and made pro- 
visional appointments and arrangements, which are for the 
Conference to ratify. I feel utterly incapable of additional 
fetigue. My natural force is abated, my eye is become dim, 
and my days of extra labor are over. — .'iOth. Distributed 
blankets, rugs, flannel shawls, and hymn-books among the 
poor people. — July '2d. 1'reachcd to a large and deeply attent- 
ive congregation fcom Luke xiii. -'■> : 'Are there few that be 
saved i" and in the evening l'rohi Horn, xv 4." This sermon. 
On ''God's Mercy in the Gift of Revelation," was afterward 
published, with a dedication "to the gentry and inhabitants 
of the town of Lerwick." 

The voyagers embarked on board the '•Noma" on the Oth 
of July, and gained the bay of Aberdeen after six days' con- 
flict with the winds and tides. On the 12th the Doctor 
arrived in Edinburgh, and proceeded homeward most grate- 


fully, though with pleasure chastened by the painful intelli- 
gence, which met him in the Scottish 'capital, that his dear 
friend and brother-in-law, Mr. Butterworth, was no more. 

Two years later Dr. Clarke made a second visitation to 
those remote stations. "I am now preparing" (February 
20th, 1828) "to take another voyage to Shetland. There 
are some things that remain to be done for that interesting 
people, which I think no man can do but myself. My life is 
the Lord's : I take it in my hand, and make it a most free- 
will offering to him. His work there is the most glorious, 
deep, extensive, and steady I have ever known : for its sup- 
port God has given me the hearts of the people, who have 
most liberally helped me. The preachers have been faithful 
and laborious. When I saw the effects of the labors of those 
two young men, Messrs, Dunn and Raby, I have been aston- 

The party on this seoond occasion embarked at "Whitby, on 
the 18th of June; the passage excellent, as on the 21st they 
landed at Lerwick, having seen the sun that morning " rising 
between two and three o'clock — no previous night." From 
that day to the 18th of July he was hard at work in various 
parts of the Zetland group, " from Sumburgh-Head south, to 
the Scaw of Unst in the north." In the societies he found, 
in Lerwick, four hundred and twenty members; in Walls, 
four hundred and fifty-five ; North Mavin, one hundred and 
fifteen ; Yell, two hundred and fifty ; besides a number in 
Foula and the Fair Isle. He met the Sunday-school children, 
"to discover the most necessitous, that I might provide them 
with some clothing ;" and, on the 26th and 27th of June, 
he employed the chief part of the day in apportioning cloth- 
ing of different kinds to the extremely poor in the different 

"Having invited the magistrates, professional gentlemen, 
and merchants of the town to dine with me on board the 


'Henry,' they came; and, for the place and circumstances, 
the dinner was satisfactory, and all seemed pleased. The 
conversation turned upon subjects of science, and matters in 
which the reality of the invisible world is concerned, and was 
upon the whole both useful and improving. 

" Sunday, July 6th. Having crossed the high hills, a con- 
geries of serpentine rocks, we passed Haroldswick, and at 
length reached Northwick, (lat. 61°,) the farthest town or 
habitation north in the British dominions. Here I preached 
on Job xxii. 21 : 'Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be 
at peace ; that thereby good may come unto thee.' There 
was no other sermon preached on this day between this spot 
and the North Pole. A press of people. I returned on 
foot, accompanied by six persons who had come sixteen miles 
to hear the preaching. I took them aboard to dine, and they 
are just gone off in our boat to regain the shore, moat deeply 

On the 11th he laid the foundation-stone of a chapel in 
the island of Foula. Once more arrived in Lerwick, early 
on Sunday, the 13th, " I went on shore to enjoy the luxury 
of clean things and a good washing. By the time this was 
done, the preaching-hour arrived, and without eating a mor- 
sel, I had to go into the pulpit. It is strange I should have 
been capable of this after exposure on the deck for twenty 
hours. I found power in preaching. — July 17th, weighed 
anchor, and stood out of Bressa-Sound. May God grant us 
a prosperous voyage ! Several friends came aboard, and many 
are following along shore to get the last view of us. G od be 
with this people for ever !" 

The full journal of these voyages may be seen in the 
twelfth volume of Dr. Clarke's Works, along with several 
other pap'ers relating to the Zetland Isles and the Wesleyan 
missions there. The same volume contains, also, a valuable 
mass of correspondence with the missionaries. 

448 LIFE or THE 

The manifestations of benevolence unfolded in this chapter 
must not be regarded as fitful impulses or isolated facts in the 
conduct of Dr. Adam Clarke, but as occurrences which aro 
but parts of a series which formed the general tenor of his 
life — a life spent in doing good, sanctified, adorned, ennobled 
by the spirit of that genuine Christianity which magnifies 
God in the highest, and creates the fruits of peace and good- 
will among men. 


" Thy care was fixed, and zealously employed 
To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light, 
And hope that reaps not shame." 




It may be inferred, from the traits of his character inci- 
dentally unfolded in the past narrative, that Dr. Clarke's 
personal disposition had a strong tendency to inspire and re- 
ciprocate those sweet and elevating sentiments which come 
under the common name of friendship. Ami in im man were 
the elements of this social virtue more vigorous, or more 
strongly developed. True worth always found in him a sin- 
cere and generous admirer: and by whomsoever a feeling of 
affection was shown for himself, it was sure to create in his 
soul, and call forth in his conduct, a grateful return. His 
benevolent instinct-, naturally strong, were refined l>y the 
.sanctifyiiiLT grace of (lod; and his friendship, worthy of the 
name, was warm in its nature and profitable in its effects. It 
had a heartiness which made itself substantially felt by those 
who shared it : far from an artificial, capricious, and vanish- 
in;.; sentiiiicia, it became one of the realities of his life and 
their own. Hence most of the friendships he formed were 
prolonged with the days of mortality, and many of them 
have been resumed, we have reason to believe, in that region 
of love where the spirits of the just are made perfect. 

Tn his intercourse with friends there was a peculiar charm 
about l>r. Clarke's conversation, ari-inu- from the intrinsic 
value of what he said, combined with his kindly and cheer- 


ful manner of saying it. In mixed company, like many 
other great scholars, he was often silent and awkwardly re- 
served ; hut, surrounded with men and women of congenial 
principles with his own, his mind and heart gave-freely forth 
the precious things with which they were stored. The end- 
less variety of knowledge he had amassed from the books of 
all human literature, from the living book of society, from 
God's book of nature, and, above all, from God's written 
book of revelation, was all laid under contribution to instruct 
the mind, make the heart cheerful, and the life better. 
What Herder said of J. P Richter may be affirmed of Dr. 
Clarke's conversation : "Every time that we are together he 
opens anew the treasures that the three wise men brought — 
the gold, frankincense, and myrrh ; and the star always goes 
before him." 

Among the friends of Dr. Clarke were persons of all grades 
of society, even from the prince to the peasant, and the me- 
chanic. He found, too, a sacred and refining* pleasure in 
good female society ; and in the number of those who were 
privileged to be ranked with his intimate friends were several 
ladies distinguished for their talents and piety. Such was 
Mrs. Tighe, the admired authoress of •"Psyche." Of this 
celebrated lady there is no separate biography ; but a copious 
and well-written account of her has been given in Mrs. R. 
Smith's Memoir of the Rev. Henry Moore, in whom', as in 
Mr. Wesley and Dr. Clarke, the poetess had a devoted friend. 
We may also mention Mrs. Hall, the sister of $Ir. Wesley, 
who was not inferior to the other members of that remarkable 
family in the gifts of genius and the virtues of religion ; 
Miss Sarah Wesley, the daughter of Charles, who entertained 
for Dr. Clarke, to her dying-hour, the warmest sentiments of 
veneration j Miss Tooth, a mutual friend, who still survives 
them j Mrs. Agnes Bulmer, another poetess, whose harp is 
now tuned to the songs of the blessed ; Mrs. Mary Cooper, 


of whose saintly life the Doctor himself wrote the memorial ; 
and Miss Mary Freeman Shepherd, whom I mention last, 
being wishful to give an idea of her extraordinary character 
in some extracts from her letters to Dr. and Mrs. Clarke. 
Though a native of England, Miss Shepherd was, on her 
mother's side,, of Italian ancestry, by descent from the Faletti 
of Piedmont, a family which once held the rank of sovereign 
princes. She received her education in a convent at Rome, 
and was brought up as a member of the Romish Church. 
But her mind soon proved itself too high for the puerilities 
of the Papal system; and, though she unhappily retained a 
nominal union with it, her theological principles and religious 
affections were brought by degrees nearer and nearer to the 
evangelic creed, and to union with its true confessors of every 
name. She was an earnest admirer of Mr. Wesley; and 
when Dr. Coke was at Paris during the Revolution time, as 
mentioned on a previous pagej Miss Shepherd, being then 
resident in a convent in the Faubourg St. Germaine, did him 
good service by her influence with the commissioner for 
ecclesiastical property, in extricating him from the embarrass- 
ment arising from the purchase of a church for which ho 
oould get no congregation. Gifted with uncommon vigor of 
intellect, and being an habitual student, she became one of 
the eminently learned persons of the day. Her knowledge 
of Hebrew, both biblical and rabbinical, was excellent ; and 
her love for the welfare of the Hebrew people themselves, 
ardent, prayerful, and profound. Let us hear her : 

"In 1789, when I was at Rome, provoked at the shocking 
insults and indignities which I daily beheld in the publio 
streets exercised without constraint on the poor, harmless, 
unoffending Jews, I said to David Toscano, one of the teachers 
in the synagogue in the Ghetto, and my instructor in rabbin- 
i«al Hebrew, 'My good friend, I wonder at your patience 
under such treatment ; nay, more, I deem it cowardice, un- 


worthy the descendants of Abraham, Joshua, and Caleb. 
You are at least eighteen hundred Hebrews in the Ghetto. 
Give me but eight hundred, ay, only five hundred resolute 
men from among you, and I, although a woman, will put my- 
self at your head, and engage, with the help of the God of 
Israel, to drive before me like a flock of geese- all this long- 
coated, dastardly herd of priests and monks with which Rome 
is now filled, to the disgrace of Christianity.'* This was his 
noble, generous answer : 

" '0 signora, we feel your love, your zeal for Israel, to our 
inmost souls. But, ill as we are used, we must remember it 
is our duty never to forget that, persecuted all over the globe, 
Rome permitted us here an asylum, and the free exercise, in 
this Ghetto, of our religion. Rome still, though under hu- 
miliating guidances, tolerates the Hebrews within her walls. 
These insults are part of the curse denounced on the infractors 
of his law by the just and holy God. We have sinned, we 
bow our heads, but must not lift up our hands against the 
people and nation that received us into its bosom when none 
else would. And when our justly angered God will turn our 
captivity, he can and will do it without our ingratitude to 

* The reader will, doubtless, appreciate the courage of this war- 
like lady. In regard to some of the extracts following, we must 
interpose a word or two. Though the writer of these remarkable 
letters was, to a great extent, estranged from Romish superstitions 
and observances, yet the influence of her early associations is too 
plainly traceable in the sequel; arid of this, some whose intirriacy 
she enjoyed had melancholy proof. It is hardly needful to remark, 
in addition, that no creature can innocently affect to be more benev- 
olent than the great and blessed Maker of all. Hence the encomium 
on the Jews who prolonged their prayers, in order to afford the more 
relief to the souls in perdition, must be qualified. Other fancies, 
which will occur to the reader, are more or less innocent ; but the 
tone of them is by no means the most salutary. 


Borne. But we tremble for your safety, should you too 
warmly speak in our favor.' ' Never fear. Is not the Lord 
God of your fathers able to protect me ? He will ; and I 
will speak and spare not.' And so I did. A few days after, 
being with Santini, one of the consuls at Rome, I repeated 
to him the above conversation with D. Toscano, neither sup- 
pressing nor softening a syllable. In a very angry tone, San- 
tini said, ' Do you know you may be sent to the Inquisition 
for this V ' Yes, I do know it. Send me, if you dare. It 
shall be the worst day's work you ever did. I dare to ven- 
ture every thing, rather than not let you know how deserving 
the poor Jews are of better treatment than you show them.' 
Yet for all this, I was loved by the people at 
Borne ; respected by those of higher rank, and treated with 
distinguished notice and every courteous attention at the 
Vatican library, museum, and Pope's palace, and every place 
of note in the city. But my poor, loving, grateful Jews 
trembled for my safety, and the day I left Rome two stout 
young men were sent by the synagogue to keep in view my 
post-chaise, and put up at the same inn, all the road through 
the Papal territories. All unknown to me [was] their kind- 
ness; only I saw another chaise, with the curtains drawn in 
front, following mine, until, at the inn at Sienna, the two 
Hebrew youths respectfully came up, took their leave, and 
told me that 1 was now safe in Tuscany. "Nor was this all. 
Scarce had I been two hours in Leghorn, when a near relation 
of David Toscano, with the second rabbi of the synagogue, 
the amiable, pious, and learned Rabbi Castcllo, came to my 
hotel, with every tender of kindest services. And thus they 
did at every place, forestalling my arrival at Avignon, etc, 
Letters came before I came ; the kindness was prepared to 
meet me ; and all this to an inconsiderable nobody, only for 
loving their nation, and speaking in their favor. O God, 
remember them for good ! 


"That gratitude, and even humanity towards the brute 
creation, (for the Hebrews neither hunt, shoot, angle, nor 
horse-course, nor bull-fight, cock-fight, etc.,) is a character- 
istic of Israel, who that reads their Scriptures, their law, 
their history, can deny ? The very reveries of their rabbins 
in sending Pharaoh's daughter, soul and body, like Elijah, 
into heaven, for saving the life of Moses, testify; [and so] 
the ass that carried Abraham to Mount Moriah, prolonged in 
life to carry Moses to deliver Israel, and as miraculously pre- 
served to carry the King Messiah to his triumphant reign ; 
Noah's dove, Elijah's ravens, Daniel's lions^ and every creature 
that had done services to Israel — [all being] put in a place 
of happiness in the day of the Messiah's triumph. Even in 
these rabbinical ideas, how beautiful on the mountains of 
Israel appear, to the heart that feels, the very wandering feet 
of erring gratitude ! There is something too wondrous, good- 
natured, and pitiful, in that notion of theirs, that, during the 
holy prayers of the synagogue on the Sabbath, the Very 
damned are permitted to come out of hell, and enjoy their 
Sabbath. And, accordingly, the Jews begin their prayers 
as soon, and end them as late, as possible; to give even the 
damned a longer holiday ! Now this, I must own, is far kinder 
than our priests. The Jews prolong their prayers for the 
lost spirits' ease, without getting a farthing profit by it. 
Ours, alas ! no penny, no Pater — no, not for the poor suffer- 
ing souls, their own brethren, in purgatory ! 

" I remember reading that beautiful passage in Exodus : 
' Moses was fourscore years old when he stood before Pha- 
raoh.' I observed to the Jew that taught me Hebrew in 
Paris, Mordecai Ventura, interpreter of Oriental languages 
at the Royal Library, 'How admirably Moses gives us to 
understand that the Most High so long delayed to deliver 
Israel, that Pharaoh, and she who had reared him up as her 
son in her father's palace, might live to a good old age, and 


die in peace, before Moses was sent to inflict the plagues of 
Egypt, lest the rqd of Moses should be soiled by ingratitude.' 
4 Observe still more,' eagerly exclaimed Ventura, ' when the 
waters of Egypt were to be smitten and turned into blood, 
God commands Aaron, not Moses. They had borne him up 
safely in the bulrush-ark on their bosom. Could he strike 
them with a, curse 1 Aaron owed them no debt : he might 
smite. The same, when the dust of Egypt was to be smit- 
ten. „ Aaron was to stretch his hand and smite, — not 
Moses, whom that land had forty years fed with regal dain- 
ties. Aaron had toiled coarsely and fared scantily at the 

" In the sacred writings throughout, there is a holy vein 
of gratitude. Edom is the brother ; so is Ishmael : hurt 
them not. Moab and Ammon, children of Lot : vex them 
not unprovoked. Thou wast a stranger kindly received at 
first in Egypt : ever remember the benefit — hate not an Egyp- 
tian. Remember the kindness of Jethro : so the Kenite 
dwelt in Israel. Jesus must needs pass through Samaria : 
there caused he the streams of Jacob s well, the living, life- 
giving waters of salvation, to flow to Shechem, to more than 
repair the murders of Simeon and Levi."* 

We will make room for another, written to Dr. Clarke on 
occasion of one of his family bereavements : 

" Open and read this letter in some calm, happy moment. 
It is on a tender subject, and as.much as you can bear : more 
than you could, in a less exalted frame of thought. May the 
good Spirit of the Most Holy God give healing benediction 
to a poor Samaritan's chirurgery ! 

" Your letter, my dear sir, most forcibly recalls the well- 
known reply of ^Eneas to Dido. Yet, be assured that, so far 
from seeking to renew your griefs, of the losses that caused 

* Letter to Dr. Clarke. 


them I was totally ignorant, or I had left my good Balmar 
embalmed in his virtues at Paris. But, since I have brought 
him over to London in my letter, may we not make some 
worthy use of him ? You say, ' Had he reared his departed 
children up to one, two, and five years old, he would have 
felt very differently.' Undoubtedly ; and the more he felt, 
the more would those feelings have furnished fire and wood 
for the burnt-offering. To people in the laborious classes 
of life in Paris, and more especially when of Balmar and 
his wife's serious, domesticated cast of mind, tenderly loving 
each other, industrious, prospering in their industry, both of 
them of good natural understanding, cultivated by a plain 
useful education, improved by religion, and by religion raised 
to that simplex munditiis of Christian elegance in mind and 
manners, [with] feelings acutely alive to every fine impulse, 
and ofttimes expressed with a refinement of delicacy that 
would have done honor to a prince — of which I could give 
instances : to him and his wife, children must have been very 
desirable ; at least a boy, to be the pleasant auxiliary of his 
labors, the staff of his declining years; a girl, the comfort 
and companion of them both, the nursing-mother of their 
age, and, with her brother, the joint-inheritor of their sub- 
stance and virtues. With an if-— if God had so pleased — he 
and his wife would have been glad their children had lived. 
God took away all his children — did not leave him one. Yet 
he not only submitted, but with Abraham's faith gave them 
up to God ; and, with the tears of a father, could sing never- 
theless the song of ascension, Psalm cxxii. 

"You have lost six children, it is true; but God hath left 
you six. He took away all, every one of Balniar's. But 
half of yours are left; and not one, you own, has yet given 
you the heart-ache. Had their mother so written, I should 
have made large allowance for the tenderness of our weaker 
sex. But you, a man, not only 'Adam,' but 'M,' is it thus 



that you strengthen your "wife? Your lovely Adam, and 
angel Agnes, I saw them continually in my mind's eye ; and 
as you pictured the little boy standing at your knee, playing 
with your watch-chain, at half-past one, in the full light of 
day, methinks his action reads this lesson : ' Beloved father, 
as the links of the chain of your watch to your little Adam, 
so are the things of this lower world, mere toys, and the 
playthings of a child. As these links, few in number, to 
number beyond the reach of numbers to express, so are the 
years of the life of man upon earth, to the countless years of 
eternity. Yet on these counted years hang the countless 
years of eternity ! — attached thereto, as this horologer, the 
recorder of the hours, which we call a watch. Within, 
closed up in the inward case, therefore unseen, is a moving 
spring. Its effects are visible . in the moved hands on the 
dial-plate, as they mark the minutes and hours : ere they shall 
thrice have moved round this dial-plate, time will be no 
longer measured out to your darling Adam. He will no more 
be the son of fleeting time, but an heir of eternity. The 
mortal in three short hours is going to be clothed with im- 
mortality. Weep not, father; whither I go you also shall 
come. Your infant precursor, whose affections, improved not 
here through weakness, in heaven will breathe the uncon- 
taminated air of innocence, and, as it were, prepare an unim- 
peded ascent to your prayers. My father, perhaps I may be 
permitted to be a ministering, spirit of good to my parents 
and brethren.' I think, then, how it would grieve your child, 
while thus employed, to see heart-rending pangs heave his 
father's bosom, while his child, more alive than ever, is hover- 
ing over him a guardian-angel ! And sainted Agnes — 0, 
could she touch her father's heart and lips with a burning 
coal from the altar, and give him a view like that of Isaiah 
the year that King Uzziah died, both heart and lips would 
burst forth into joyful praise that God had taken his Agnes 


to himself in the beauty and purity of holiness. Nay 

were she only till the great day in the bosom of Abraham 
and heard from that patriarch's own mouth the narrative of 
his victory over a father's feelings, when commanded not 
only to give up, but to sacrifice, his only and beloved Isaac, 
not only the son of hope, but the heir of promise, thirty-six 
years of age, Abraham 136 ; — no demur, no delay ! 

" 0, love henceforward the descendants of such a father, 
even though he should be of the Ashtarothin's congregation. 
For Abraham's sake tenderly pity them, though encrusted all 
over with the sufferings of Pqlander or German. What 
people can boast of a father like Abraham, to whom the God 
of righteous judgment could assign such blessings? — And 
blessed Miriam, the mother of Yehoshua, stabat, — nan re- 
cumbens — stabat Mater by the cross of her Son. These are 
examples more worthy of imitation than David crying, '0 
Absalom, my son, my son ! ' Yet there was some excuse for 
his sorrow. His son at least went to the spirits in prison ; 
yours are gone to heaven. Would that we were all there !" 

A few detached sentences may be added, from some other 
letters of this learned and amiable woman to Dr. Clarke. 

" My mind's constitution is the reverse of sombre. In my 
soul's best moods, I leap as the roebuck over mountains of 
spices ; in its worst^it bursts forth as the volcanoes of Etna 
and Vesuvius ; yet thanks, immortal thanks, to the Almighty, 
who stilleth the raging of the winds and of the sea !" 

"Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! I mourn, I grieve; 
not as a slave before his master, but as a child, broken-hearted, 
to have offended so good a Father ; thus to have dishonored 
my Father's image and name, and degraded mine own dignity 
of nature. Yet I sink not hopelessly. 'Choose life,' my 
Father God still says, ' and Jive.' All the commands of God, 
preceptive or prohibitory, the whole Thorath Adonai,* are 

* " Law of the Lord." 


for man's benefit; the kind teaching and enlightening of the 
Wisdom of Eternity, guiding the short-lived child of time 
in the straight and sure road of everlasting happiness. 

" 'Choose life, and live.' < Thine arm is too short to reach 
life ; but thou art free to choose : then only choose life, and I 
the Lord will bring it to thee.' " 

- "lam persuaded that the history of Job is a real matter 
of fact Have you a nrind, to read good Father Louis de 
Grenada's sermons, in old French,f of the days of Charles 
IX. ? There is much sound timber in them, enough to 
furnish a whole town of modern buildings. 

"When in your notes you come to Isaac's blessings to 
Esau, you will observe how literally they were ratified by 
God, and will see strong proof that Esau was not abhorred 
©f him, and how very nobly and lovingly he acted towards 
his overreaching brother at their meeting; nor did he ever 
retract from their reconciliation. I beseech you also to point 
out the just penalties levied on the joint frauds of Rebekah 
and Jacob. After she sent him to Laban, she never more 
beheld him, and even she herself disappears; for no further 
mention is made of her by upright, truth-loving Moses : no, 
not so much as of her death, while of only her nurse Deborah 
is much honoring record." 

Miss Shepherd died at an advanced age in 1815. 

In referring to some of the good men for whom Dr. Clarke 
cherished a personal and peculiar love, we should give the 
highest place to Mr. Wesley. For him Adam Clarke ever 
felt the reverence of a disciple, and the sacred affection of a 
son, and, to his latest days, the memory of tokens of the 
particular esteem with which that distinguished servant of 
God had regarded him, yielded a ceaseless consolation and joy. 

Among the friends of his early manhood was Andrew 

t Translated into it from the Spanish. 


Coleman, who had been a schoolfellow with him at Agherton. 
and afterwards became one of the first-fruits of his ministry, 
and, like himself, a preacher of the gospel. One of the first 
essays of Adam Clarke's pen was a memorial of this young 
evangelist's short but beautiful career, in which he writes in 
simple and heart-moving terms of " the very tender friend- 
ship which subsisted between these two." He fell asleep in 
Jesus, June 18th, 1786, aged eighteen years, and soon gained 
the blessed region where the inhabitant shall no more say, 
" I am sick." He had the happiness of seeing his mother 
and grandmother brought to an acquaintance with the truth 
before his departure, and his last words to them, as his puri- 
fied soul prepared to take its flight into the eternal world, 
were, " Follow me." 

Another of his Irish friends was Alexander Knox, Esq., a 
gentleman whose name is well known in the literary and 
ecclesiastical circles of both islands, as an elegant theological 
scholar,* and a man of influence in the Church of England. 
He was a most intimate friend of the late Bishop Jebb. His 
parents were Methodists, and he himself was a devoted ad- 
mirer of Wesley, whose principles on experimental religion 
found a deep response in his heart, and kept him, in later 
years, from going farther than he evidently would have other- 
wise gone, into that semi-Romish Utopia where so many 
churchmen in our day have wandered to no profit. 

In Samuel Drew, the Cornish metaphysician, the Lord 
gave to the juvenile ministry of Mr. Clarke a convert who 
will indeed shine in his "crown of rejoicing" in the day of 
Christ. Drew soon became a preacher, and his father in the 
gospel was not a little proud of him in that capacity. His 
high opinion of him, as an expositor of the truth in the 

* One, however, whose theology was not evangelical. 


pulpit, was frequently expressed in terms of characteristic 
warmth. The sanctified life and useful labors of this Chris- 
tian philosopher were ever contemplated by his friend with 
an apostolic triumph, " These two" also are made eternally 
one in spirit, through Him who redeemed them, converted 
them, employed them in his service, and hath now glorified 
them together. 

Of the Rev. John Pawson we have spoken before. Me- 
thodism in her traditions has placed him among her saints. 
Between him and Dr. Clarke there grew up a friendship 
which never died. The last act of Pawson was to write these 
words: "Wakefield, Friday, March 28th, 1806. 0, my 
Adam, my most affectionately beloved and esteemed friend 
and brother, for whom God knoweth I ever had a sincere 
regard, but now tenfold more than ever, what I have expe- 
rienced of the power, goodness, unmerited mercy and love of 
God, during this affliction, is not to be described. 0, the 
soul-transporting views of that heavenly felicity with which 
my soul hath been favored ! Praise the name of the Lord 
with me, and for me, and tell all my beloved London friends 
that John Pawson dies a witness of the saving power of 
those precious truths which have been taught, and believed, 
and experienced among us from the beginning." 

A veteran of the same stamp was the Rev. James Creigh- 
ton, one of the clergymen of the Establishment who adhered 
to Mr. Wesley, and took part in the Methodist ministry; a 
man of learning, and of useful life both in the pulpit and 
the press. His last testimony also occurs in a letter to Dr. 
Clarke : " I am endeavoring to weather out the last storms 
of life, hoping ere long to gain the port at last. I have had 
a pretty rough passage of it, all the way, but I am fully con- 
vinced that it was best so, and that the repose will be the 
sweeter when we get to the haven where we would be. 


' 0, what is death ? 'Tis life's last share, 
Where vanities are vain no more ; 
Where all pursuits their goal obtain, 
And life is all retouched again.' 

I bless God I have no feat nor gloomy thought ; yet it is not 
ecstasy or triumph— a calm internal peace, with a firm reli- 
ance on the promises of God, through the atoning blood." 

Mr. Richard Mabyn, of Camelford, at whose house Mr. 
Clarke in his Cornish days found a pleasant home, had in 
him a loving and devoted friend. When each had become a 
much older man, Dr. Clarke, in. one of his letters to Mr. 
Mabyn, writes thus : " I may say that but few hours together 
have elapsed since the year 1784, in which I have not 
thought of you and my most affectionate mother Mabyn ; and 
I have pever thought of you without a blessed mixture of 
gratitude to my benefactor, reverence to my teacher, warm 
affection to my parent, and delight to my friend." 

Joseph Came, Esq., F.R.S., of Penzance, as well as his 
venerable father, William Carne, Esq., had a high place in 
the esteem of Dr. Clarke, both for the great debt which the 
cause of Methodism owes to those gentlemen in the West of 
Cornwall, and for the scientific, religious, and social eminence 
of a family at whose house the Doctor in his occasional visits 
always found a most congenial sojourn.* 

Of the late Mr. Exley, of Bristol, the brother-in-law and 
friend of Dr. Clarke, I can scarcely trust myself to begin to 
write, lest the terms which the feelings of my heart dictate 
should wear the injurious look of exaggeration. He was a 
man admirable not only for acuteness of intellect, and pro- 
found mathematical and scientific research, but for simplicity 

of character, benevolence of feeling, and sanctity of life. 

. % 

* The late Mr. John Carne, the Eastern traveller, and author of 
"The Lives of Eminent Christian Missionaries," and various other 
works, was also an intimate friend of the Clarkes. 


Ho wrote several works in the higher branches of science, 
and an exposition of the first chapter of Genesis, in which 
he seeks to harmonize the Mosaic history of the Creation 
with the conclusions of modern geology. To the Methodists 
in Bristol, among whom he had been a member, leader, and 
local preacher for half a century, growing in grace, and turn- 
ing many to righteousness, the death of Thomas Exley was 
like the going out of a lamp in the temple of God. 

The name of another inestimable brother-in-law of Dr. 
Clarke, Mr. Butterworth, for many years member of Parlia- 
ment, for Coventry and for Dover, highly respected by men 
in the first ranks, has already appeared with frequency in the 
foregoing pages. In him the country lost a faithful servant, 
the Church a faithful member, and the poor a faithful friend. 
Take an instance : One day in each week he received at his 
house the applications of such as needed pecuniary relief, or 
advice in their exigencies. His servant, on being once asked 
how many petitioners he had on that day admitted, answered, 
"Nearly a hundred." Into these cases Mr. Butterworth 
entered, in order to make his charities at once discriminating 
and efficient. The religious and social character of this good 
man is ably unfolded in a Funeral Sermon by the Ilev. 
Richard AVatson, preached at Great Queen Street Chapel, on 
the words of St. Paul, Gal. i. 24 : "And they glorified God 
in me." 

The Rev. Henry Moore must also be mentioned as one of 
Dr. Clarke's early companions, and as his counsellor, too ; a 
fellow-laborer with him in the same ministry for fifty years, 
and also the sorrowing friend who committed at last his re- 
mains to the grave. I may state it as u noticeable fact, that 
Mr. Moore performed the funeral solemnities over five mem- 
bers of the familf . He buried the Doctor himself in 1832, 
Mrs. Clarke in 1836, one of their sons and two of their 


grandchildren in 1840 — himself being then in the eighty- 
eighth year of his age. 

That eminent Greek scholar, the late Hugh Stuart Boyd, 
Esq., stood related to Dr. Clarke, not only by consanguinity, 
but by a cordial sympathy of disposition, and, so far as learn- 
ing is regarded, of employment and pursuit, as well. In 
classical and patristic erudition he was second to few of his 
contemporaries. He was remarkable for the strength of 
what may be called a verbal memory, which he well improved 
by enriching his mind with choice passages of the sacred and 
classic writers. I have now on my desk a memorandum dic- 
tated by himself, entitled " The Number of Lines which I can 
repeat:" namely — "Greek prose: Septuagint, 30 ; Greek 
Testament, 120; Gregory Nazianzen, 1860 ; Basil, 460 ; Chry- 
sostom, 640 ; Gregory Nyssen, 15 ; Methodius, 35 ; Heliodorus, 
30 ; a few passages of heathen writers, 90. Total of Greek 
prose, 3280. Greek verse : Greg. Naz. Carmina, 1310 ; Sy- 
nesii Hymni, 156 ; Homer, 330 ; iEschylus, 1800 ; Sophocles, 
430; Euripides, 350; Pindar, 90; Meleager, 83; Bion, 91; 
Moschus, 120; Poem in Life of Plotinus, 10. Total of 
Greek verse, 4770. I cannot repeat many hundred lines in 
one consecutive series. The longest passage of prose which 
I can repeat is -322 lines; the longest of verse 270 lines. 

" If I keep the passages from the Septuagint and New 
Testament for Sundays, and repeat the rest on week-days, 
they will occupy four weeks, if I repeat about 327 lines a 
day. The lines from iEschylus are equal to more than one- 
fifth of the whole of his Tragedies now extant." 

Mr. Boyd published two volumes of translations, consisting 
of passages from the most eloquent of the Fathers, especially 
Chrysostom, Basil, and Nazianzen. He also wrote a disser- 
tation on the Greek Article, especially viewed in its use in 
passages of the New Testament which have a bearing on the 
grand truth of the Godhead of Christ. The piece is in- 


Berted in Dr. Clarke's Commentary, at the end of the Epistle 
to the Ephesians; though we may just remark that the 
learned commentator himself had no great faith in what may 
be called the grammatico-theological doctrine of the Greek 

Mr. Boyd suffered in his latter years .from loss of sight ; 
but .Divine mercy had so blessedly enlightened the eyes of 
his mind as to enable him to see and love Him who is invisi- 
ble. He had those qualities of character which attracted 
friendships and kept them inviolate. His blindness is the 
theme of a sonnet by Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who 
studied Greek under Mr. Boyd's tuition, and with what effect 
her spirited translation of the " Prometheus Bound" will 
testify. There is another sonnet in the same volume,* occa- 
sioned by the death of Mr. Boyd in 1848, in which she sings 
of the feelings excited by some tokens of friendship he be- 
queathed to her. 

" Three gifts the Dying left me — .aSschylus, 
And Gregory Nazianzen, and a clock, 
Chiming the gradual hours out like a flock 
Of stars whose motion is melodious. 
The books were those I used to read from, thus 
Assisting my dear Teacher's soul to unlock 
The darkness of his eyes. Now mine they mock, 
Blinded in turn by tears ! Now murmurous 
Sad echoes of my young voice years agone, 
Entoning from these le%ves the Grecian phrase, 
Return, and choke my utterance. Books, lie down 
In silence on the shelf within my gaze ; 
And thou, clock, striking the hour's pulses on, 
Chime in the day which ends these parting days." 

Mr. Boyd has left a large collection of papers, which 
should not be suffered to perish in oblivion. Many of his 

* Poems, toI. i. 


letters also to Dr. Clarke are richly worthy of publica- 

Another literary friend of Dr. Clarke, Mr. Charles Fox, 
we have already had occasion to mention. With that accom- 
plished person, when resident in Bristol, he passed many a 
profitable hour, in the cultivation of those Eastern studies 
with which they had both become enamoured; and when 
each had removed from that locality, they still corresponded 
for mutual help. Nor was Mr. Clarke's communication with 
his friend without a most beneficial religious, as well as in- 
tellectual, fruitage, as it tended to confirm his somewhat 
wavering mind in the truth of the gospel, and to lead him to 
seek and find the salvation of God. . Mr. Fox was the author 
of an extensive poem called " Leila and Mejnoon," written 
after the manner of the Persian poet Hafiz. This, together 
with several other manuscripts, came into Mr. Clarke's care 
after the death of the author. 

With these and many others, whose names, if recorded 
here, would swell into a long and sad necrology, Dr. Clarke 
lived in those beneficial intercourses which gave a solace to 
their earthly life, and helped to fit them for a heavenly one. 

Dr. Clarke's was a friendly heart, kind and considerate. 
He wished to avoid giving offence to any one, as much as in 
him lay, and was pained at the thought of having possibly 
done it inadvertently. Here is an instance : — He had been 
to the Isle of Wight, and, during a short sojourn at West 
Cowes, the guest of Mr. Charles Pinhorn, a worthy gentle- 
man who is now almost the only surviving relic of the first 
generation of Methodists in the island. Mr. Pinhorn, being 
in London shortly after, sought an interview with the Doctor, 
but was unable to see him except for a few minutes in the 
vestry of Lambeth Chapel before Dr. Clarke went into the 
pulpit. The following extract of a letter he received shortly 
after from the Doctor will illustrate our remark : 


" Mt dear Sir : — I wish there may be no mistake in our 
meeting last Sabbath at Lambeth. When I came down into 
the vestry after preaching, I looked about to see you, but, 
not finding you, I asked some of the friends, ' Did they know 
whether Mr. Pinhorn, of the Isle of Wight, who was in the 
vestry when I first entered it this morning, had left the 
chapel ? ' They said they did not know. ' Will you look 
into the chapel and see 1 ' One and other said they did not 
know him. I waited several minutes, but no appearance of 
Mr. Pinhorn. I was vexed, because I wished to speak to 
you; and I thought my apparently- distant manner might 
have given you offence. The truth is, I hardly speak to any 
person before I enter the pulpit. I generally feel the work 
much on my mind, and avoid as much as possible speaking 
even to my most intimate friends, till I come down from the 
pulpit. If, therefore, there appeared in me any slight or 
neglect towards you, put it far away from your mind, for I 
assure you it had no existence ; and this letter, written simply 
on the subject, is a proof that nothing of the kind was cither 
in the intention or the feeling. I do not know that I have 
ever been in any strange place for these many years, in which 
I was so well pleased with the affectionate respect that was paid 
me as in West Cowes. . You have been once, I am 

informed, at my house, when I happened to be on a journey. 
If you ever come near the place again, and will spend a 
night with us. and look about you, I shall be gl:id to see you." 

The frequent removals to which a Methodist minister is 
liable broke in upon the continuity of personal converse, but 
never obliterated the imago of a friend from his heart. 
When, journeying, ho revisited an old circuit, he improved 
every hour in reviving the feelings of the " auld lang syne" 
at the homes and hearths which memory had rendered sacred; 
and some of his letters to Mrs Clarke, written at those 
times, are crowded with the details of these rapid and numc- 


rous visits. His friendships had the seal of perpetuity, and 
with few men have there been so small a number of excep- 
tions. When such did occur, they • grieved his generous 
mind. But these cases were rare : the love which grew up 
between Adam Clarke and those who were worthy of his 
affection, proved itself stronger than the storms of life, or 
the tides of death ; and those of the number who still sur- 
vive him cherish the memory of the words and acts by which 
that love was expressed, among the most sacred treasures of 
the heart. 




We have already narrated the circumstances in which this 
holy relation was entered upon by the subject of our memoir. 
The union then consecrated endured with an ever-effectual 
benediction, through the long years of a diversified but 
happy life. In the case of Adam Clarke and Mary Cooke, 
the marriage solemnity was the outward and visible sign of 
an inward, spiritual, and imperishable oneness — the sacra- 
ment of an everlasting love. 

In the partner of his life Dr. Clarke found that Providence 
had given him " a help meet." Mrs. Clarke possessed not 
merely the graces of a pleasing exterior, but those inward 
virtues of which St. Peter speaks as the true adorning of the 
holy woman, and which are in the sight of God of great 
price. She had a cultivated mind, a sound judgment, and a 
regenerated heart. She was „the worthy companion, and 
often to good results the wise counsellor and serviceable 
helper, of her hard-working and grateful husband. A mo- 
ther in Israel, and a mother at home, she brought up a large 
family, and at the same time fulfilled what Mr. Wesley 
called, in reference to her gracious conduct, " the office of a 
deaconess," in discharging, in every circuit, the duties of a 
class-leader and a visitor of the sick and poor. 

These good works were coeval with her religious life. At 


Trowbridge, where she was brought up, she no sooner became 
a subject of* converting grace than it displayed its effects in 
those incipient efforts at usefulness by which Miss Cooke was 
enabled to give important aid to the then feeble cause of Meth- 
odism in that town. So, onward from year to year, through 
the course of her extended life, with ever-enlarging know- 
ledge and deepening experience, she labored with unobtru- 
sive but successful endeavor to lead persons of her own sex 
into and onward in the way to heaven. 

At home her influence formed the character of a remarka- 
ble family, the members of which in death and life have 
called her blessed. As to her husband, in all the changing 
scenes of their checkered history, her abiding and sanctified 
love, revealing itself in ceaseless ministries for his and their 
comfort in mind, body, and estate, shed a ray of solace upon 
the darkest hours, and heightened and perfected the bliss of 
those which were most prosperous. 

It is only to give a more true idea of this lovely character 
that I take the liberty to select a few sentences from one or 
two of her letters to Mr. Clarke. The following gives a spe- 
cimen of those dispositions, sweet and blessed, which gave 
such a charm to his home. It was written so far back as the 
year 1791, at the time when they were just leaving Dublin 
for Liverpool, Mr. Clarke having already left for the Man- 
chester Conference.* I may just observe, that her beautiful 
writing is in the old Italian hand, so unlike the insignificant 
and illegible scrawl in which some young ladies are now 
taught to afflict the eyes of those who have the task of read- 
ing their compositions : 

" My spirit deeply feels how tedious are the moments of 
separation. Indeed, my best-beloved, as thou art all the 
world to me, so now, in losing thee, I woefully experience 

* Vide supra, p. 164. 


that I have lost all things except my God. Blessed be his 
holy name, he supports me still ; and, was it not for his pecu- 
liar aid at this time, my heart would sink into hopeless 
melancholy. My spirits are exceedingly low, and the friends' 
well-meant and kind officiousness serves to increase the de- 
jection they strive to remove. The Turk,* poor, com- 
passionate creature, says, ' You cry so much, no good, no 
good; consume you.' Yesterday I was very weak; in the 
evening could just stand alone. Through the night, while 
the rain poured in torrents against the windows, gloomy were 
my thoughts of the worst that could befall you. All the 
horrors of shipwreck were in a lively manner present to my 
imagination. At length I found something like composure 
from the thought that perhaps at the coming on of the rain 
the wind changed in your favor. I have to-day 

gathered my little unpacked things into one place. This has 
helped to draw my mind from the thought of separation, and 
to bring the idea of reunion, seeing all my stuff and little 
matters drawn up in order for embarkation. To-day I feel 
better, because I hope by this time you are in Liverpool. 
If we follow, we have promises of company. William Higley 
is determined on the voyage ; and the poor Turk, if spared, 
will be our companion. He says, ' Me no sick ; me take 
care John and Adam. Madame Clarke sick, Phoebe sick.' 
John is recovered charmingly, and with returning health he 
is also getting his good tempers back again. Adam is but 
poorly, thin and sickly. I cannot help thinking that he will 
by and by follow his precious sister. I see her in him more 
and more." 

From another letter :" Bristol, 1789. — Mary Clarke to 
the dearly beloved of her spirit wisheth all peace, with every 
present and future blessing his heart can desire, or the God 

* Page 163. 


of love and omnipotence bestow. I have been led this morn- 
ing to pray that my dear husband may be assisted by the 
Spirit of wisdom and power to declare the oounsel of the 
Holy One unto the people, and in consequence I feel a com- 
fortable persuasion that his word shall not fail of some good 
effect. I have often a presentiment of the power of the 
coming word, by having (as it seems) an infused energetic 
cry after it in my soul. I know not when I have felt more 
of it than last Thursday week, in the evening, when, imme- 
diately after singing the verse preceding the sermon, every 
power of my spirit instinctively (if I may say so) ascended 
in one ardent ejaculation, 'Grant, my God, the spirit of 
wisdom unto the speaker, and let thy power be manifested 
now among the people !■ My soul then returned in confi- 
dence that a blessing should be given. Directly you gave 
out for a text, ' The work of righteousness shall be peace ; 
and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for 
ever.' If you look back, you will remember that I believed 
not in vain, but according to my faith so was it then j and 
so have I generally found it. 

"lam myself nearly as well as I can yet expect to be, but 
suffered much, very much, yesterday, by abstaining some 
hours too long from food. But from painful experience per- 
haps I shall learn a lesson of wisdom. As for little John, 
he is loving and saucy, and would give you a hundred kisses 
if you were here, though you sent him never a one. . 
Frances sends her love ; and as for me, believe that with all 
possible affection I am thine most truly." 

When, in subsequent years, the Doctor was carrying on his 
extensive literary undertakings, the few hours he could spare 
for the pen were rendered more unbroken than otherwise 
they could possibly have been, by the intervention of Mrs. 
Clarke in receiving visitors and transacting minor affairs con- 
nected with the business of the society and circuit, with 


which, by practice, she had become as conversant as any 
superintendent among us. She kept all the book-accounts, 
in the Doctor's absence on his numerous journeys opened all 
the letters which came for him, and, condensing the contents 
of them within the compass of one, for the saving of postage, 
transmitted it as a report to him. Thus, under date, " Lon- 
don, February, 1806," she states that one letter was from 

Mr. , asking the loan of a few pounds ; another, from 

Mr. Wrigley, concerning money matters of Mr. S ; 

another, from Mr. Boyd, containing family affairs j another, 
from Mr. Entwisle, just arrived, "which I have not yet had 
time to read through, but chiefly relating to chapel-building, 
expenditure, and ways and means — all submitted to you as 
chairman of the District ;" another, from Mr. M'Q ■ . , " the 
largest size folio-sheet, full, full on all sides and in every 
corner. It contains many good things, many learned things, 
many strange things, many unaccountable things, with the 
promise of many more things yet to come. A bundle of 
letters, also, of three folio sheets, is come from Mr. Drew, 
addressed to Mr. Woolmer, and sent by him for Mr. Benson, 
to publish in the Magazine. It is a dialogue between himself 
and a Deist, on the top of a coach." 

It will be evident that Dr. Clarke's confidence in his wife 
was perfect. He had no secrets to conceal from her, nor 
wished to have. Their minds were in Bound and healthy 
unison. His own personal life, and his public life, with all 
its encouragements and discouragements, wcro perfectly 
known to her ; and that, with a return of gentle and wise 
counsel, and holy comfort, which greatly smoothed his path- 

By her pen, too, she helped her husband not a little She 
would transcribe a manuscript for the press, and at times. I 
imagine, she lent some aid in original composition, getting 
forward such works as admitted of that kind of participation. 



I speak not on this point with certainty, except the degree 
of it which may be gathered from an expression here and 
there of the Doctor's. Thus, writing to her from Ireland : 
" Cannot you and John prepare a few sheets of the Concord- 
ance ? The book is in the back study, and he knows the 
volume of Calmet from whence he is to correct the proper 
names. See you to the definitions, if there be any. A few 
sheets will do." 

While engaged on the Commentary, " it was his frequent 
practice, at the close of the day at Millbrook, to read the 
notes he had written to Mrs. Clarke, and take her opinion of 
them. Sometimes, after he had done work, she would read 
aloud to him and the listening family some amusing and in- 
structive book."* 

Such was she of whom it is no small honor to say that 
she was worthy of being the wife of Dr. Adam Clarke. And 
for a more ample account of this exemplary lady, I refer the 
reader to a work published by her daughter in 1851, with 
the title of " Mrs. Adam Clarke, her Character and Corre- 
spondence;" a volume which deserves a place by the side of 
the Memoirs of Mrs. Fletcher, Lady Maxwell, Mrs. Hester 
Ann Rogers, Mrs. Tatham, Mrs. Agnes Bulmer, and those 
other sanctified females whose " Holy Living" has adorned 
so beautifully the religious communion to which they be- 

Dr. Clarke knew the value of the gift which Heaven had 
conferred upon him in this companion of his days. 'With 
each passing year his love became more tender, and the honor 
in which he held her more high and sacred. The anniver- 
sary of their wedding was always a time of grateful joy. 
On one of those days, being away, he writes to her : " This 
day I have kept with comfort for above forty years. You 

* Family memorandum. 


are more regardless of these kinds of observances than I 
naturally am : with me such things have much weight ; and 
now, being absent, I wish to show you that I carry the re- 
membrance of it, and my respect for it, two hundred miles 
beyond my own dwelling." On another he presents her 
with a tender poem ; and on another with a gold watch — " the 
beautiful dial of which," he tells her, " is an emblem of thy 
face ; the delicate pointers, of thy hands ; and the balance, 
of thy conduct in thy family." The only difference which 
the lapse, of years made in his admiration of her was to 
strengthen it. Cowper's sweet lines seem as if they had 
been written to express the sentiments of this true-hearted 
spouse : 

" Thy silver locks, once auburn bright, 
Are still more lovely in my sight 
Than golden beams of orient light, 

My Mary. 

" To be the same through good and ill, 
In wintry change to feel no chill, 
With me is to be lovely still, 

My Mary." 

In truth, religion, with its ever indestructible and celestial 
band, had made their union everlasting. They were one in 
Christ, and were persuaded that neither death nor life, nor 
things present, nor things to come, could separate them. 
They knew that, when time with them would be no more, 
they should live together with the Lord, and in the years of 
this life they lived to him. For the God before whom they 
walked, and who had fed them all their days, and redeemed 
them, was their sun and shield, giving them grace, and about 
to give them glory, they walking uprightly. Their wish and 
vow, their purpose and their prayer, so to do, and so to be, 
might have been well told in the words which Lavater, in 


one of his household hymns, puts upon the lips of a Christian 
wife and husband : 

Dulden, tragen, lieben, geben, 
Einfaltvoll und frohlich ruhn ; 
Immer nach der Weisheit slreben, 

Was wir thun, nur Dir zu thun ; 
Dir nur dariktn alle Freuden, 
Dir nur leiden wenn wir leiden, 
Dir im Tode noch vertraun, 

Wollen wir, bis wir Dich schaun ! 

To bear, endure, and love, and give, 
Be ours long as on earth we live ; 
In tranquil confidence of soul, 
To consecrate to Thee our whole : 
Made wiser with the flight of days, 
In joy and sorrow thee to praise, 
Till, in blest death, our souls depart, 
Till we behold thee as thou art. 




Oi" the twelve children of Dr. and Mrs. Clarke, two died 
in infancy, four others in childhood ; and of the six who rose 
to be men and women, three daughters only survive. The 
loss of the six, one after another, bent the parents in unutter- 
able grief. " None," says the father, when the first of these 
afflictions came, " none can tell our woe. I feel I have 
lost part of my own being in the loss of my child. Jesus, 
thou Son of David, have mercy upon us. Thou Eternal 
Power, we bow before thee, we submit to thee." In training 
aright those who lived, Dr. Clarke found the solace, as well 
as the solicitude, of his life. Though so extensive an itine- 
rant, he was nevertheless greatly in love with the domestic 
state, and never so happy as when he had his children around 
him. Once when Mr. Ward, of Durham, called on him 
when in London, " on being ushered into the room, he found 
him seated with one child on his knee, encircled in an arm ; 
another child in the cradle, which he was rocking to repose 
with his foot ; a book in one hand, which he was attentively 
reading, and a potato in the other." A scene like this might 
have been often witnessed. 

When the labors of the study were over, he used to amuse 
himself with his little ones, who quickly assembled at his 
well-known call of " Come all about mo !" Then was heard 


the joyous shout, along with the rush of the youngsters to 
claim the first kiss, or obtain the best seat upon his knee. 
Sometimes he would dispose of them on his person : one 
round his neck, one hanging on each shoulder, one clasping 
his waist, one seated on each foot ; and with an infant in his 
arms, he would, thus furnished, be the happiest of the group. 
The sports of the evening finished, each alternately kneeled 
at their mother's knee for prayer; and when ready for re- 
pose, Mr. Clarke, when not out preaching, " invariably car- 
ried them himself up to bed, put or playfully threw them in, 
and tucked them up for the night. But, before retiring 
himself, he always visited each bed, to see if all was right. 
To his well-known voice, pretty early in the morning, they 
would start up, unpin each child its own bundle of clothes, 
(which almost from infancy it had been taught to fold up,) 
and dress with all possible expedition ; for, from childhood, 
lie would never permit waste of time by dilatory habits, any 
more than slovenly neglect through affected attempts at expe- 
dition." So writes one of the family. 

In their secular education, he not only afforded them the 
privilege of his own tuition, but, as his ministerial duties 
would render all systematic operation impossible, he was care- 
ful to secure them the best professional instruction within his 
resources. He was not content without giving his daughters 
a useful and elegant, and his sons a practical and learned, 
education. But, above all, it was Mr. Clarke's supreme con- 
cern to give them a Christian one : to implant in their memory 
at the very outset of life, when dogmatic instruction becomes 
a necessity, those absolute truths which, under the influence 
of the blessed Spirit of God, will develop in the soul and the 
conduct the virtues of holiness and religion; to illustrate 
those truths in cheerful yet serious conversation ; to try to 
exemplify them in his own spirit, temper, and behavior, be- 
fore their eyes, letting them see Christ in him, and thus 


drawing them by the cords of a man, and by the bands of 
love, to his Saviour and theirs. He knew that their renewal 
unto salvation must be the work of God ; but he knew, also, 
that he, as their father, had duties to perform which might 
be instrumentally indispensable toward that blessed result. 
" Let those parents," he would say, " who continue to excuse 
themselves by observing, 'We cannot give grace to our chil- 
dren,' lay their hand on their heart, and say whether they 
'ever knew an instance where God withheld his grace while 
they were, in humble subserviency to him, fulfilling their 
duty ? The real state of the case is this : parents cannot do 
God's work, and God will" not do theirs; but, if they use the 
means, he will never withhold the blessing." 

In the parental government of his children, Mr. Clarke 
blended an inflexible integrity of discipline with a cheerful, 
open-hearted love. He considered that these should be 
united in a father's conduct toward his rising family. "It is 
not personal fondness," remarked he, " nor parental authority, 
taken separately, that can produce beneficial effect. A father 
may be as fond of his offspring as Eli, and his children be 
sons of Belial ; he may be as authoritative as the Grand Turk, 
and his children despise and plot rebellion against him. But 
let parental authority be tempered with fatherly affection, 
and let the rein of discipline be steadily held by this power- 
ful but affectionate hand, and there shall the pleasure of God 
prosper. Many fine families have been spoiled, and many 
ruined, by the separate exercise of these two principles. The 
first sort of parents will be loved, without being respected; the 
second will be dreaded, without cither respect or esteem." 

He was a frequent correspondent with his children when 
away from them. On his journeys he would describe to 
them remarkable localities, with their historical associations, 
rendering his letters both instructive and engaging. At 
other times he reiterated with his pen the solemn counsels 


which they had often heard from his lips. Thus, to one of 
his daughters at school : " Youth is the time in which learn- 
ing can be obtained. I find that I can now remember very 
little but what I learned when I was young. I have, it is 
true, acquired many things since ; but it has been with diffi- 
culty, and I cannot retain them as I did those which I gained 
in my youth." 

And again, from another letter : "All, my dear child, that 
can be done for you by human means, is being done ; but, to " 
make you what you should be, you must look to God, that he 
may supply that teaching which is beyond the power of 
human influence and skill; and, that you may get it, you 
must be sensible that you need it, and must pray to God to 
give you that sensibility — that is, that he may show you how 
stupid, foolish, and ignorant you are in all matters which 
concern the salvation of your soul, and how much you stand 
in need of that pardon and holiness which were, purchased 
by the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion, the 
death and burial, the glorious resurrection and ascension, of 
our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Pray for these 
blessings, and do not be contented without them ; and then 
you will be not merely 'worthy of your father/ who is a 
poor worthless creature, but worthy of that glorious name of 
Christian which you bear ; and, being a partaker of the Di- 
vine nature, God will count you worthy of an inheritance 
among the saints in light." 

So when, as years passed on, the young people entered 
upon life for themselves, he still, by intercession with God, 
and by all kind offices within his own power, endeavored to 
promote their welfare. On the birth of a granddaughter 
we find him writing as follows : " To Joseph and Matilda 
Clarke : May the blessing, grace, and peace of the eternal, 
all-glorious, infinitely perfect, and ineffably benevolent Trinity, 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one incomprehensible and 


adorable Deity, the Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer of 
mankind, rest on, ever support, and eternally save our son 
Joseph B- B. Clarke, his wife Matilda, and their firstborn 
child, by whatsoever name* "she may be called. May he, our 
son Joseph, in his sacred office ever preach Jesus the Christ, 
by the power of the Holy Ghost, to the conviction of sinners, 
the conversion of penitents, and the establishment of be- 
lievers on their most holy faith ! May Matilda, his wife, be 
ever blessed as a. mother and a Christian, and live long dis- 
tinguished by all the graces that adorn those characters ! 
And may their firstborn child grow up in stature and favor 
with God and man! And may she and her parents live 
long, innocently, piously, and usefully; and, after having 
served their God in their generation, may they triumph over 
death in a glorious resurrection ! May they be united to the 
Father of Eternity, through the Son of his love, by the 
Eternal Spirit, to contemplate the Divine perfections, to see 
them as they are, and thus to enjoy an unutterable happi- 
ness, where duration is eternal, and where time shall be no 
more. Amen ! Amen !" 

To and for another, his daughter Mary Ann, on her birth- 
day : " Sovereign of the heavens and of the earth ' behold 
this my daughter on the anniversary of her birth. I bring 
her before thee : fill her with thy light, life, and power. As 
in thee she lives, moves, and has her being, so may she ever 
live to thee! Strengthen her, thou Almighty; instruct 
and counsel her, () thou Omniscient' Be her Prop, her 
Stay, her Shield, and her Sword. Put all her enemies under 
her feet ; deck her with glory and honor ; make her an ex- 
ample to her family, a pattern of piety to her friends, a 
solace to the poor, and a teacher of wisdom to those who are 
ignorant and out of the way. By her may thy name be 
glorified, and in her may the most adorable Saviour ever see 

* Alice. 

482 LIFE Of THE 

of the travail of his soul, and he satisfied. Amen, amen. 
So he it; and let her heart hear and feel Thy Amen, which 
is, So it shall be. Hallelujah." 

Habitually happy as he was in the bosom of his family, 
there were occasions which had an especial and sacred joy- 
ousness in the domestic history. Such was that when parents 
and children alike received the holy sacrament together; 
thus acting, as the Doctor expressed it, " like a patriarchal 
family of old, et cum Deo inire foedus, making a covenant 
with God, which should put them in an especial manner 
under his protection." 

Such, also, was that when, the Commentary being finished, 
the sons and daughters " determined on presenting their 
father with a large "silver vase, in memorial of the comple- 
tion of a work which they had seen him so long, so labo- 
riously, and so anxiously prosecuting. Without 
acquainting the Doctor with the purpose of the invitation, 
the two elder sons requested their parents and the family to 
dine with them in St. John Square. After dinner, the vase, 
covered from the sight, was introduced, and placed at the 
head of the table. Dr. Clarke's eldest son then rose, and in 
the name of each of the family uncovered and offered it, 
with an appropriate address, to their revered parent. For a 
few moments he sat incapable of utterance ; then, regarding 
them all, he rose, spread his hands over this token of his 
children's love, and pronounced his blessing upon them indi- 
vidually and collectively. 

" His eldest son then filled the vase with wine, which his 
father raised first to his own lips, then to those of his be- 
loved wife, and afterwards bore it to each of the family 
present; he then put it down, and in a strain of the most 
heartfelt, eloquent tenderness addressed his children in the 
name of their revered mother and himself in terms they will 
never forget." 

Of the three sons of Dr. Clarke who survived him, each 


has now followed his parents to the other world. The eldest, 
John Wesley Clarke, was a gentleman whose extensive anti- 
quarian and heraldic studies both qualified him for the situa- 
tion he held under government, and, combined with a genial 
sociality of disposition, rendered him a most agreeable com- 
panion. He had a great love for the science of botany, and 
delighted to spend whole weeks in the country in pursuing 
it, during which he would domesticate himself in cottage or 
farm-house, and live as one of the family. He was a loving 
son and brother. He died after a short illness in February, 
1840, and was buried with his parents at City Road Chapel. 

Theodoret Samuel Clarke, after an apprenticeship to Mr. 
Woodfall, the printer, carried on that business for some 
years, during which he continued and finished the printing 
of his father's Commentary, which had been begun by Wood- 
falL Theodoret's education and subsequent studies enabled 
him to superintend accurately the typography of that work, 
which abounds with quotations from the biblical, classical, 
and Eastern languages. Thus the Commentary was, as we 
may say, the work of the family. The Doctor wrote it, the 
sons printed, and Mr. Butterworth, the brother-in-law, pub- 
lished it. Theodoret left business, and went abroad for a 
time, but after his return lived generally near his parents, 
spending his days in various works of usefulness. He died 
at Brighton in 184:1, in the faith and hope of the gospel. 

The Rev Joseph Butterworth Buliner Clarke was. of all his 
sons, the one most after his father's own heart. Some time 
after the completion of a good school-education, followed by 
the privilege of reading Greek with his relative, Mr. Boyd, 
he was entered of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he gra- 
duated Bachelor and Master. In July, 18:25, he was or- 
dained by the Archbishop of York, I believe, as curate to 
Archdeacon Wrangham. He afterwards held two curacies 
in London, was appointed chaplain to the Duke of Sussex, 
became incumbent of St. Matthew's, Liverpool, and then 

484 LIFE X> J THE 

removed to Henbury, near Bristol, where he married (Miss 
Brook) the lady who so largely shared with him s6me of the 
labors of his enlarged sphere of ecclesiastical duty, as curate 
of Frome, and then rector of West Bagborough, near Taun- 
ton, and inspector of schools for the diocese of Bath and 
Wells; an office which called forth powers with which he was 
admirably endowed for its faithful discharge. His printed 
reports show not only great official diligence, but a philo- 
sophical and Christian estimate of the principles of educa- 
tion, giving them a claim to permanent consideration. The 
bishop showed his appreciation of Mr. Clarke by giving him 
a prebendal stall in the cathedral of Wells. We have seen 
how he assisted his father in bringing out the second volume 
of the " Sacred Literature," a task for which he was soundly 
qualified by his classical and patristic learning. He pub- 
lished also a volume of sermons, and a Bibliography of Ori- 
ental manuscripts in his father's library. He had, especially 
in his last years, a strong personal resemblance to the Doctor. 
This amiable clergyman died rather suddenly at Nice, in 
1854, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. He had gone 
abroad with his family, for the sake of their health and his 
own, and, leaving them at Nice, had come again to England 
to discharge some pressing duties. This done, he returned 
to his family, and on the way, turning aside to visit the tomb 
of a beloved son who had died two years before at Toulon, 
and been interred at Hieres, he was himself seized with sud- 
den death from a malady of the heart, and was buried with 
his son, among the myrtles and the palm-trees in the cemetery 
at Hieres.* 

* A son of the prebendary, the Rev. Adam Clarke, has reoently 
entered holy orders. We should not omit to mention, also, the 
Doctor's much-esteemed nephew, Mr. John Edward Clarke, the son 
of his brother Tracy, a man of great erudition, as may be seen 
from the able dissertation inserted by his uncle in his commentary 
on the thirteenth chapter of the Revelation. 




There needs no concluding iloge on the religions character 
of Dr. Adam Clarke, as his whole biography is one. Let 
the readers look back and form their own estimate. His 
personal and public life was one sustained manifestation of 
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost; and the record of it, 
traced on these pages, is designed not to exalt idolatrously a 
fellow-creature, but to offer an humble tribute to the praise 
and glory of that sovereign grace which made itself apparent 
in his whole history. '■ The saints," a.s Luther said, " are 
not to be praised for themselves, but for their Saviour; they 
shine like dew-drops on the hair of the heavenly Bride- 
groom."* The sanctified glorify the Sanctifier. Such was 
the principle which governed Dr. Clarke's inward and out- 
ward life — that Christ in all things might be magnified. 

The varied experiences.of his inner and spiritual life are 
not sufficiently known to warrant an attempt, on our part, to 
give a professed account of them. The biographies of many 
good men are enriched with extracts from registries made by 
themselves of the dealings of Divine grace with their souls. 
But Dr. Clarke left no such documents. Indeed, he appears 

* Tischreden. 


to have been averse from things of that kind. He began 4o 
keep a diary, but left it off as early as 1785. "When some- 
times asked whether he would not publish his journal, or 
leave it to be published, he used to say, " I do not intend any 
such thing : the experience of all religious people is nearly 
alike ; in the main entirely so. When you have read the jour- 
nal of one pious man of common sense, you have read a thou- 
sand. After the first, it is only a change of names, times, 
and places : all the- rest is alike." The Rev. Joseph Clarke, 
knowing his father's mind, committed those early journals to 
the flames.* 

Dr. Clarke's religious experience was the work of God's 
Holy Spirit in the soul; begun, continued, and perfected. 
It was begun in true regeneration. That adorable Being who 
alone " can bring a clean thing out of an unclean," renewed 
his heart in righteousness j and .to the grace thus given in 

* In recording Dr. Clarke's sentiments on the point here raised, 
we are not to be understood as adopting them in full. An eminent 
living divine, the learned Dr. Fred. Augustus Tholuck, of Halle, in- 
clines to a very different opinion. "0 that we were richer in our 
German language," he writes, '*in biographical works, which are 
adapted to illustrate and promdte a truly elevated and practical 
Christianity, by laying open the sanctuary of the inner life! It 
may be said that more awakenings have proceeded from the written 
lives of those eminent for piety, than from books of devotion and 
printed sermons. We are able, at least, in the circle of our own 
knowledge, to address a great number of Christians — and among 
them names of the first rank in the religious world — who are in- 
debted essentially to works of biography for the confirmation and 
stability of their spiritual life. The writer can assert this in regard 
to himself. He can make such an acknowledgment respecting a 
book to which he knows that not a few, in Europe, America, and 
Asia, will bear a similar testimony. The biography of the mittionary 
Martyn opened in my own life a new era of religious progreu." (Prefaoe 
to vol. i. of a series of Biographies, in German, for Sabbath reading. ) 


his youthful prime Adam Clarke was faithful. Day by day 
he watched unto prayer, and walked humbly with God. 
Working out his salvation with fear and trembling, whiie 
God wrought within him to will and to do of his own good 
pleasure, he became established in grace, and endured to 
the end. 

He.sought and found — what every man is obligated to seek, 
and every Christian believer privileged to find — the clear 
knowledge of pardon, and of adoption to be a child of God ; 
and the witness of his acceptance in the Beloved was never 
removed from his soul. In his autobiography he gives an 
unequivocal statement to that effect. It appears, also, in a 
letter written to Mr. Wesley, when Mr. Clarke was in the 
Norwich Circuit in 1784, that, while at Trowbridge, he had 
received powerful convictions of a need of the entire sancti- 
fication of his heart; that he had become acquainted with a 
good man, a local preacher, " who," says he, " was a partaker 
of this precious privilege; and from him I received some 
encouragement and direction to set out in quest of it, en- 
deavoring, with all my strength, to believe in the ability and 
willingness of my God to accomplish the great work. Soon 
after this, while earnestly wrestling with the Lord in prayer, 
and endeavoring, self- desperately, to believe, 1 found a 
change wrought in my soul, which I endeavored through 
grace to maintain amid grievous temptations. My indulgent 
Saviour continued to support me, and enabled me with all 
my power to preach the ^lad tidings to others." Those 
sanctifying graces were evidently strengthened during the 
latter part of his residence in the Norman Isles, on the bed 
of sickness in Dublin, and in the days of labor at Manches- 
ter, Liverpool, Bristol, and London, diffusing their effectual 
influence on all his life. ' 

On the witness of the Holy Spirit to our adoption I heard 
him preach a sermon only a few months before he ceased to 


be among us, in which, after reminding us that there can be 
no true happiness for man but in the enjoyment ef the favor 
oi God, he went on to prove that such felicity must be im- 
possible without a testimony from God to the conscience that 
he adopts the pardoned sinner to be his child ; and that this 
evidence is not to be inferred merely from texts of Scripture, 
however rightly applied, but ascertained from an interior 
oracle of the Holy Ghost, creating peace in believing, and 
inspiring the dispositions by which we say in life and word, 
"Abba, Father I" " This," said he, " is what I wish you not 
to rest without. Do not face death without it ; do not 1 How 
awful to go to appear before the living God, if you hare not 
the testimony in your own souls that you are born of him ! 
John Bunyan well describes a poor, wretched, self-deceived 
pilgrim, who had trusted to a vague and general belief, with- 
out actual conversion, coming to the gate of the celestial cky, 
but refused an entrance, because ' he had no certificate to be 
taken in.' ' He fumbled/ says he, ' in his bosom for it, but 
he found none. Then I saw the shining ones commanded to 
bind him head and heels, and throw him into the hole at the 
side of the hill.' Beware, lest thou art as he." 

This calm assurance was maintained in Dr. Clarke by the 
habit and life of faith. " What have I to boast, or trust in ?" 
writes he : "I exult in nothing, but the eternal, impartial, 
and indescribable kindness of the ever-blessed God; and I 
trust in nothing but in the infinite merit of the sacrifice of 
Christ, a ruined world's Saviour, and the Almighty's Fellow. 
Then, what have I to dread ? Nothing. What have I to 
expect ? All possible good ; as much as Christ has purchased, 
as much as Heaven can dispense. ' The Lord is my Shep- 
herd, and I shall not want.' " 

He was often exceedingly blessed in his own soul, in the 
pulpit, while made a blessing to hundreds. Thus on one 
occasion, as already mentioned, he exclaimed, "I would not 


have missed coming to this place to-day for five hundred 
pounds. I got my own soul blessed, and God has blessed the 

This good teacher was himself teachable. We have re- 
marked with what docility he would sit at the feet of the 
humblest Christian who could teach him a lesson in the 
things of God. " I meet regularly once a week. I find it a 
great privilege to forget that I am a preacher, and come 
with simple heart to receive instruction from my leader." 

And, in making his own election sure, he felt the necessity 
of constant self-government. Self-denial was his habitual 
rule ; and sometimes, in things perfectly allowable, he was in- 
duced to forego a lawful gratification, for the good of others. 
In one city where he was stationed, he found the use of wine 
carried to too great an extent in some of the circles he 
visited, and made a resolution to abstain, for the sake of 
giving a practical testimony against it, taking but two glasses 
of wine during the whole of the year, though in a wasted 
state of health, which would have rendered the moderate- 
use of wine of great service to him. 

The fear of God developed in his disposition an habitual 
reverence for things sacred. Thus, in passing an abbey or a 
ruined chapel, he has been observed to take off his hat, as a 
token of veneration. And this feeling was strongly unfolded 
in regard to the Holy Scriptures. He would often study them 
on his knees. The very sight of a Bible seemed to do him 
good. Once when a servant, wanting something to set 
against the door of the parlor to keep it open, seized the 
Bible and placed it on the ground — "Poor Margaret," quoth 
the Doctor, "has no religion, or she would have paid more 
respect to the Book of God than to put it to that use." He 
then took occasion to intimate that he could not endure the 
material of which the sacred book is composed to be dese- 
crated in any way, and that even the page of a printed book 


which had upon it the Divine name was sacred in his 

He 'had an overflowing sense of the goodness of God. 
Gratitude to the Parent of Good had become a glowing affec- 
tion of his soul, which, like the altar's trembling flame, was 
never suffered to expire. "I have enjoyed the spring of 
life 5 I have endured the toils of its summer ; I have culled 
the fruits of its autumn ; I am now passing through the 
rigors of its winter : and I am neither forsaken of God, nor 
abandoned by man. I see at no great distance the dawn of 
a new day; the first of a spring that shall be eternal. It is 
advancing to meet me ! I run to embrace it. Welcome, 
eternal spring ! Hallelujah !" This was written about two 
years before his death. 

These gracious dispositions tuned his mind to benevolence 
toward all men, and especially those who were of the house- 
hold of faith. Dr. Clarke was a genuine catholic. He could 
say, with Jerome, "lama Christian and the son of a Chris- 
tian, bearing on my forehead the token of the Cross ;"* and 
he reverenced and loved sincere piety wherever he found it, 
and under whatever conventional title. Names with him 
were next to nothing. Still, there was one branch of the 
Church with which he was more intimately united, and 
through which he held communion with the others. He was 
a Methodist ; and if he had been disposed to glory in any 
name, it would have been in that one. The Methodist people 
were his people, and their God his God. Among them he 
had been called, and among them he lived, and labored, and 
died. One month before his death he wrote the following 
testimonial. It has been printed before, but I insert it here 
without scruple, as it is evident, from the words of the pre- 
amble, he wished it to be permanent : — 

* "Christianw sum, et Christiani filius, portans in fronte meA vehllum 
Crucis." — Ad Paulinum. 



" I have lived more than threescore years and ten ; I have 
travelled a good deal by sea and land ; I have conversed with 
and seen many people, in and from many different countries ; 
I have studied all the principal religious studies in the world ; 
I have read much, thought much, and reasoned much. And 
the result is, I am persuaded of the simple, unadulterated 
truth of no book but the Bible ; and of the excellence of 
no system of religion but that contained in the Holy Scrip- 
tures, and especially Christianity, which is referred to in 
the Old Testament, and fully revealed in the Now. And, 
while I think well of, and wish well to, all religious sects and 
parties, and especially to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ 
in sincerity, yet, from a long and thorough knowledge of 
the subject, I am led most conscientiously to conclude, that 
Christianity itself as existing among those called Wesleyan 
Methodists is the purest, safest, and that which is most to 
the glory of God and the benefit of men ; and that, both as 
to the creed there professed, the form of discipline there 
established, and the consequent moral practice there vindi- 
cated. And I believe that among them is to be found tlu: 
best form and body of divinity that has ever existed in tlu; 
Church of Christ from the promulgation of Christianity to 
the present day. To him who would ask, ' Dr. Clarke, arc 
you not a bigot V — without hesitation I would answer, ' No, 
I am not; for, by the grace of God, I am a Methodist.' 
Amen. Adam Clarke." 

On another occasion : " For nearly fifty years I have lived 
only for the support and credit of Methodism : myself and 
nay interests, the Searcher of hearts knows, were never 
objects of my attention. I came into the Connection with 
«a upright heart, and one dominant principle ; and, by the 
help of God, I will retain it to the end." 


He did so. Such were his feelings to the last. Speaking 
to some of the ministers not long before his departure, he 
said, " My heart is with you ; and when my spirit has passed 
away, if God permit, it shall return and be a stirring spirit 
among you again !" 

The last characteristic of Adam Clarke's practical religion 
we can here commemorate is its perseverance. It was " by 
patient continuance in well-doing" that he sought for glory 
and immortality. He occupied till the Master came, and 
died wearing the harness. " The broad shadows and the 
setting sun" might- hare warranted his retirement from the 
field of toil ; but he wrought on, the more solemnly in earnest 
for that the work was still pressing and the moments were 
few. Here is a memorandum noted down (April 9th) in the 
last year of his life: "The Missionary Secretaries are in 
want of help for their coming anniversary, and have come in 
the most earnest and affectionate manner, begging me to help 
them. l I have at once submitted, though it is likely to throw 
work upon me which I shall scarcely be able to bear. I had 
been previously engaged to -Birmingham and Sheffield. I 
must be in Birmingham on the 22d and 23d — return to Lon- 
don for Queen Street on the 27th, and Southwark on the 
29th ; then set off for Sheffield, where I must be May 5th 
and 6th, and get, if I can, to Belfast or Donaghadee on the 
12th. I am in an indifferent state of health ; and there is too 
much reason to believe that all this travelling and preaching, 
coming so close together, will overset me."' 

In some of these services he came out in almost unpa- 
ralleled grandeur. " Who," said the poet Montgomery, 
referring to those at Sheffield, "who among us does not 
remember, nay, which of us can forget, his two discourses ? 
the simple energy with which they were poured forth, the 
unction of the Holy One which accompanied them, and the 
devout feeling so interfused as to overpower the sense of 



admiration which the learning, the love, the transcendent 
ability displayed in the composition were calculated to excite." 

On the Doctor's arrival home from Ireland, his family were 
Bhocked by the alteration in his appearance. He confessed 
that his strength was prostrated, but seemed most concerned 
lest he should be disabled from further work. One of his 
daughters having come over to Haydon Hall to see her 
father upon his return, he said, " See, Mary, how the strong 
man has bowed himself; for strong he was. But it is God 
who has brought down, and he can raise up. He still owns 
the word I preach ; he still continues my influence among 
the people ; and hence it is plain he has yet other work for 
me to do." 

In July, at the Liverpool Conference, his name was in- 
serted as supernumerary under the heading of the Windsor 
Circuit, being that in which Haydon Hall is situated ;* but 
along with this notification was added the following N. B. : 
" Though Dr. Clarke is set down supernumerary for Windsor, 
he is not bound to that circuit, but is most respectfully and 
affectionately requested to visit all parts of our Connection, 
and labor according to his strength and convenience." 

With this " roving commission," as he called it, he pre- 
pared himself to concur ; engagements as usual beginning to 
crowd upon him with the new Methodistic year. But lie 
whom he had so faithfully served, and longed still to serve, 
was about to say, " It is enough." 

The year 1832 was 'one of the seasons of the Asiatio 
cholera in England. That inscrutable pestilence had swept 
away a multitude of people; and among the places which 
Dr. Clarke had been called to visit whilo the malady was at 

* This was not the first oocasion when the Doctor was minuted as 
" supernumerary." I find the term in connection with his name 
when engaged in the Reoord Commission in London. 


its height, Liverpool was one. The subsequent event proved 
that he returned to his home smitten with its influence. 
Yet, under these circumstances, he went forth to acquit him- 
self of what he considered to be the obligation of duty, 
though with the seal of death upon his brow. 

His first effort was at Frome, where he visited his worthy 
son, then curate of that parish, who had solicited the Doctor's 
presence at a meeting to promote an excellent institution 
which he had organized for the bodily and spiritual relief of 
the poor. Writing to Mrs. Clarke on his arrival at Frome, 
he says, " The constant travelling and labor, confinement in 
the Conference, etc., greatly fatigued me ; and almost every 
day I am expecting to be knocked up. Never was my mind 
more vigorous, and never my body so near sinking." The 
plans of his son "for the amelioration of the condition of 
the poor" had excited great attention in Frome ; and at the 
meetings some persons of great eminence in the neighbor- 
hood took a part on the platform, among whom were the 
Bishop of the diocese, the Earl of Cork, and the Marquis of 
Bath. The speech delivered by the Doctor made a great 
impression. The founder of the Strangers' Friend Society, 
and the preacher of mercy for fifty years, was at home on the 
theme of the day; and all felt that a man of no ordinary 
presence was among them. One expression only we can note, 
as showing the instinct of eternity which was growing 
stronger in him daily. Beferring to the pleasing circum- 
stance that the present charity combined all ranks of society 
in the neighborhood as its supporters, and to the presence of 
the bishop, the peers, the members of Parliament, clergy, 
and gentry, as " a grateful sight," he added : " Thus also it 
is, even with the economy of heaven ; since concerning it we 
hear of thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and pow- 
ers ; for orderly government seems to be well pleasing to God. 
What other degrees may be required to constitute the har- 


inony of the celestial hierarchy, I know not ; but — I shall 
soon be there, and then I shall know the whole !" 

From Frome, after a little sojourn at Weston-super-Mare, 
he went to Bristol, and preached on the 19th at Westbury, 
near that city. From Bath and Pinner, we find him corre- 
sponding by letter with two ladies, Mrs. Tomkins and Miss 
Birchj on some calamities which had befallen the Zetlanders, 
for whom they had shown much generosity, and whom he 
again commends to their compassion. He left Bath for Lon- 
don on the 20th of August, and the next day, after visiting 
and giving his blessing to his daughters in town, he reached 
his home at ssven in the evening. And here it will be better 
to recite what followed, not in my own, but in the words of 
his daughter ; for they have a sacredness which should not 
be intermeddled with. She tells us, that after her father's 
return home, " in the morning and evening family-worship, 
it was remarked that he invariably prayed in reference to the 
cholera, by name, ' that each and all might be saved from its 
influence, or be prepared for sudden death ;' and, as regarded 
the nation at large, ' that it would please Almighty God to 
turn the hearts of the people to himself, and cut short his 
judgment in njercy.' 

" On Saturday, August 25th, he summoned the family as 
usual, and it was observed he commenced his prayer with 
these words : ' We thank thee, O Heavenly Father, that wc 
have a blessed hope through Christ of entering into thy 
glory.' On rising frpm his knees, he remarked to Mrs. 
Clarke, ' I think, my dear, it will not be my duty to kneel 
down much longer, as it is with pain and difficulty I can rise 
up from my knees ' 

" Being engaged to preach at Bayswater on the Sabbath 
morning, a friend had promised to come for him in his chaise, 
which he accordingly did. Previous to their starting off, he 
called a servant, and gave her a piece of silver, saying, 

496 LIFE 0* J.HJB 

'Take that to poor Mrs. Pox, with my love and blowingi 
Perhaps it is the last I shall ever give her/ He took a little 
refreshment, and, ascending the chaise, drove out of the 
gate — for ever. 

"On the way to Bayswater his conversation was cheerfdl; 
hut on- arriving he appeared fatigued, and as, the evening ad- 
vanced, he was unusually languid. Several friends called 
upon him ; and on the Rev. Thomas Stanley requesting him 
to fix a time for preaching a charity-sermon, Dr. Clarke 
replied, ' I am not well : I cannot fix a time ; I must first see 
what God is about to do with me.' 

"At supper he was languid and silent; and, in the hope 
of gaining upon his appetite, his kind and considerate friend 
Mrs. Hobbs had got for him some fish, to which he was 
always partial ; but he. could not eat of it, and took a little 
boiled rice instead. 

" Ever since Dr. Clarke's return from Bristol he had been 
affected with some degree of diarrhoea ; but now, contrary to 
custom, it was not attended with the slightest pain. On 
being pressed to take something for it, he took ginger and 
rhubarb, but refused every other recommendation. 

" The diarrhoea increased all night. On the Sabbath 
morning he was heard to be up very early, but this was no 
unusual thing. At six o'clock, however, he requested the 
servant to call Mr. Hobbs, who obeyed the summons with all 
speed, and on coming down saw Dr. Clarke standing with his 
great-coat on, his travelling-bag in his hand, his hat lying on 
the table, just ready for a journey. Addressing Mr. Hobbs, 
he said, ' My dear fellow, you must get me home directly : with- 
out a miracle I could not preach. Get me home — I want to be 
home.' Mr. Hobbs, seeing him look exceedingly ill, replied, 
' I >octor, you are too ill to go home ; you had better stay here. 
At any rate, the gig is not fit for you : I will go and inquire 
for a post-chaise, if you are determined to return.' 


" Shortly after Mrs. Hobbs came down, with Miss Hobbs 
and Miss Everingham, the servant having informed these 
ladies of Dr. Clarke's indisposition. 

" By this time he had sunk into a chair ; and, finding him 
very cold, they had got a fire, and the three ladies were rub- 
bing his forehead and hands, while Mr. Hobbs sent with the 
gig for a medical gentleman — Mr. Greenly, a friend of the 
family, who chanced to have come to town on the preceding 
evening from Chatham, where he had professionally attended 
the cholera hospital. In the meantime Mr. Hobbs had called 
in a medical man in the neighborhood, and sent off to inform 
his sons of their father's illness. Mr. Theodoret arrived 
shortly, and Mr. John not long after, accompanied by the 
Doctor's nephew, Mr. Thrasycles ' Clarke, who had been for 
many years a surgeon in the Royal Xavy, and had frequently 
seen cases of cholera in the East. 

"As soon as the medical gentlemen saw Dr. Clarke, they 
pronounced the disease to be cholera. The family wished him 
to be taken up stairs, but he was by this time so weak, that it 
was found he could not get up. A small bed being in the 
adjoining room, he was conveyed there, and laid down upon 
it. Mr. Hobbs then said, ' My dear Doctor, you must put 
your soul into the hands of your God, and your trust in the 
merits of your Saviour.' To which Dr. Clarke could only 
faintly reply, ' I do— I DO.' 

'' Dr. Wilson Philip arrived about nine o clock. All the 
means that skill, experience, and attention could devise and 
employ were used to arrest the disease. 

" Service-time having arrived, the chapel, as usual on such 
occasions, was filled. An aged minister, after reading prayers, 
ascended the pulpit, and announced that Dr. Clarke was 
laboring under an attack of cholera. The impression may 
be better imagined than described. 

"A friend of Dr. Clarke's, Mr. Thurston, on hearing this, 


immediately left the chapel, and hastened to the house of 
Mr. Hobbs, to learn if indeed it could be true, and if, in the 
dismay and hurry of the family, Mrs. Clarke had been sent 
for. He immediately drove off to Haydon Hall to bring 
Mrs. Clarke, who arrived a little before four in the afternoon. 
On her entering the room, Dr. Clarke feebly extended his 
hand toward her. One of the Doctor's daughters, Mrs. 
Hook, on hearing that her father was indisposed, though she 
knew not the extent of the calamity, had set off for Bays- 
water ; and her father opened his eyes feebly, and strove to 
clasp his fingers upon her hand. But he had not attempted 
to speak but twice ; once in the morning, when he asked his 
son Theodoret, 'Am I blue ?' and again at noon, on seeing 
Trim move from his bedside, he asked, with apparent anxiety, 
'Are you going V 

" Dr. W Philip again visited him in the afternoon ; but 
Mr. Thrasycles Clarke and Mr. Greenly never left his room, 
nor relaxed in their efforts to save a life they saw to be fast 
hastening away. The female members in this kind family 
forgot all personal risk in attending upon the affliction of one 
who had to them been so often the minister of peace. His 
two sons chafed his cold hands and feet frequently in the 
day, and often stepped behind his head to lift him higher on 
the pillow. Hope did not abandon them; nor could Mrs. 
Clarke be brought to believe that death had made a sure 
lodgment, and that life was fast sinking under his power. 

" From the first, Dr. Clarke appeared to suffer but little 
pain. The sickness did not last long, and a slight degree 
of spasm which succeeded it had all passed away before 
eleven o'clock in the forenoon. But there was a total pros- 
tration of strength, and difficulty of breathing, which, as 
night advanced, increased so much, and proved so distressing 
to Mrs. Clarke, that she was obliged to be removed into the 
adjoining room. 


"A few minutes after eleven Mr. Hobbs came into the 
room where she was sitting, and in deep distress said, ' I am 
sure, Mrs. Clarke, the Doctor is dying.' She passed with 
him once more into the sick-chamber, and said, ' Surely, Mr. 
Hobbs, you are mistaken ; Dr. Clarke breathes easier than he 
did just now;' to which Mr. Hobbs in strong emotion 
replied, ' Yes ; but shorter.' 

"At this moment Dr. Clarke heaved a short sob, and his 
spirit went forth from earth to heaven." 

Deep and solemn was the feeling which the announcement 
of the death of Dr. Adam Clarke produced in London, and 
throughout the land. The Methodist communion felt that 
they had suffered few such losses since the day when their 
founder himself was removed to his eternal rest. And not 
only the body to which he more intimately belonged, but 
good men of every name, deplored his departure with a 
sineere and religious lamentation, as if bereaved of a per- 
sonal counsellor, companion, and friend. The tribute which 
was written by Fresenius when the illustrious John Albert 
Bengel died, might with tho greatest propriety have been 
employed to express the sentiments of multitudes in every 
Church when the grave received this venerable divine to its 
dark repose : — 

"A pillar falls; a light expires; a star, which shone so 
brightly in the visible heaven of the Church, stops its course, 
withdraws, and mingles with the supernal glory of the spirits 
made perfect. 

"An angel of peace, who was as pious as lie was laborious, 
as childlike as he was learned, as rich in spirit as he was 
acute in mind, as humble as he was great, as modest as he 
was circumspect in his walk and business of life. 

"A friend of God expires, whom the Eternal Wisdom led 
into her chambers ; to whom were opened the outgoings of 

600 life or THE 

that light which enlightens human minds, the powers of that 
word which quickens souls, the treasures of that grace which 
allures, leads, and saves us. 

"A great spirit leaves the earth ; who, whether he mea- 
sured the heights, or sounded the depths, showed himself 
equally able. The most sacred of all books was his invalua- 
ble treasure. He numbered and proved even words and 
points. He ventured into the obscure depths of theology ; 
and posterity will be able to judge to -what extent he found 
footing. What to others seemed dry, to him was verdure : 
what appeared despised by the many, was to him the source 
of light and power, spirit and life. 

" He was eyes to the blind, a leader to the weak, a pattern 
to the strong, a luminary to the learned, an ornament to the 

"A treasury is closed, in which the Lord of all the trea- 
sures of grace had laid up wondrous wealth of knowledge 
and wisdom. A teacher, mighty in the Scriptures, is no 
more. Sigh, children ; your fathers fall asleep." 

Return, Lord, and let thy work appear unto thy servants, 
and thy glory unto their children I 

May we who are still alive, and remain unto this day, seek 
the footsteps of our blessed predecessors, and be followers of 
them who now inherit the promises I 

And let the rising youth of the Church set before them 
the great example of these men of God. Let them study 
their writings, enter into their views, aspire to the attainment 
of the end for which they lived,, from motives noble as their 
own, and pray to be baptized with a double portion of their 
spirit. The work the world needs is not yet done : it de- 
mands a host of men strong, resolute, and faithful as Adam 
Clarke. We are verging upon times which will task the 
loftiest energies of martyrs, and heroes, and apostles. Both 


Providence and prophecy are alike sounding their trumpet- 
call to the candidates for this great career of toil and triumph. 
Immeasurable rewards open to the view of the faithful, and 
the crown of glory shines in the hand of the Judge ; but the 
viptory* can only be won by the brave, and the race run by 
the swift. 




The passages, seven in number, marked with the asterisk, 
have been already printed : the rest, I believe, are now for 
the first time given to the light. 

Dublix, 1825. — I am at Mr. Adam Boyd's. His 

brother John was my godfather. I have got from Adam the 
following information : " My brother John was sent from 
Dublin to Castle-Dawson to do some important work. He 
returned the next year, 1761. In the interim he stood god- 
father for you. You were, therefore, born in 1760 or 1761." 
This is certainly bringing the question into a narrow compass. 
Tell John that he proves positively that his aunt, my grand- 
mother Clarke, was an immediate descendant of the earls of 
Kilmaronock, whose family-name was Boyd. His own grand- 
father was always called Kilmaronock, as standing close to 
the earldom. 

Letter to Mr. Wesley, from Norwich, 1784. — Since 
I was justified, I have expected and prayed for the inestima- 
ble blessing of a heart in all things devoted to God; which, 
soon after I received pardon, I found to be indispensably 


necessary. But, meeting with little encouragement, I ob- 
tained it not ; and so spent that time in offering a maimed 
sacrifice. I continued in this state, or at most advancing 
slowly, till I came to this kingdom, when you ordered me 
into the Bradford Circuit. Here the good Lord was pleased 
to give me a sight of the unspeakable depravity of my heart, 
and in such a measure that the distress I felt was as painful 
in sustaining as it would be difficult in describing. I suppose, 
at that time, had there not been a sea between me and my 
native country, and a want of money to carry me thither, it 
is probable I should have made a speedy departure from the 
work in which I was engaged. I regarded nothing, not even 
life itself, in comparison with having my heart cleansed from 
all sin, and began to seek it with full purpose of soul. 
Thus I continued till December, 1782, when I opened my 
mind to a local preacher, who, I had heard, was a partaker 
of this precious privilege. From him I received some 
encouragement and direction ; and I set out afresh, endeavor- 
ing to believe in the willingness of my God to accomplish 
this great work. Soon after, while wrestling in prayer, and 
endeavoring, self- desperately, to believe, I found a change 
wrought in my soul which I endeavored" through grace to 
maintain, amidst grievous temptations and accusations of tho 
subtle foe, who seemed now determined either to spoil me of 
my confidence, or to render me as miserable; through reite- 
rated temptations, as I was before when mourning the inbeing 
of his infernal offspring. But my indulgent Saviour con- 
tinued to support and encourage me, and enabled me with all 
my power to preach the glad tidings to others : so that I 
soon saw more of the effects of the travail of my Redeemer's 
soul than I had seen before But to this day I am 

in doubt respecting the work in my own soul, not being able 
with propriety either to affirm that it is (fully) done, or to 
deny it as undone. I am in a strait betwixt two; a fear of 


denying, lest thereby I should forfeit what I have received, 
or grieve the blessed Spirit ; .and again, a fear of affirming 
that it is done, lest I should deceive myself. When you con- 
sider this, dear sir, you can easily perceive how much I stand 
in need of your advice and direction. 


At ten o'clock the London and Bristol trustees were ad- 
mitted. Mr. Pine was spokesman. He read an address and 
resolutions. They were : " 1. That there be no ordination, 
no ecclesiastical titles among the preachers; that Baptism 
and the Lord's Supper never be administered by any who 
are not episcopally ordained ; and that there be no preaching 
in church-hours in any place, except where the people without 
a dissenting voice are for it. 2. That the spiritual and tempo- 
ral concerns of the societies be so separated that the preachers 
shall manage the former, the trustees and stewards the latter." 

Here I cannot help remarking their wonderful consistency. 
They agree that the spiritual concerns of the societies be 
left to the preachers ; yet they pretend to interfere with the 
Lord's ordinances, times of preaching, etc. Are not -these 
the spiritual concerns of the society ? And does not their 
first proposition contradict this latter ? Lastly, they make a 
proposal " that all the preachers who are of their mind do 
unite with them, (unless the Conference grant their request,) 
and pledge themselves to give them all countenance and sup- 
port." Here you see they fully intend to divide us, that 
they may rule the roast. But know all men by these 
presents, that A. C. will never be a trustee-preacher. They 
would abolish ordinations and titles, merely that, being kept 
in a lower character, they might with the more propriety 
lord it over us. — If ordination and the sacraments be given up, 
some preachers will undoubtedly withdraw, among whom A. 
C. will be found. — Letter from the Bristol Conference, 1794. 


The Conference has opened with reading the Minntes of 
the several Districts. The London folks recommend tra- 
velling bishops. — 'Letter from the Manchester Conference, 

The regular Conference business is not yet entered into. 
Not one character yet examined. Yet we have been doing 
important business : you will see.all, by and by. I told you 
J. Dutton was here. He is exactly the same thing he was. 
There are, it seems, objections against his preaching; and 
Mr. P., who has had them all detailed from Mr. E., says he 
thinks he will not be received into full connection. He told 
me the objections. They appear to me to be supremely 
ridiculous. Judge from a specimen : J. Dutton has a text 
for every day in the week, which he takes from the calendar : 
J. D. made an electrifying machine at Howden : J. D. uses 
hard w«rds in his preaching, which the people cannot under- 
stand ; such as exhibit, exaggerate, manifest, etc. Ha ! ha ! 
ha ! *—Ibid. 

The characters were next gone into. Not one charge of 
moral evil against a soul. Three or four have left us, whom 
we would have expelled had they remained among us. What 
a mercy it is that God has permitted me to travel seventeen 
years, and there never was the smallest objection broutrht 
against me at any Conference, directly or indirectly ! May 
he continue to preserve mo ! — Letter from the Manchester 
Conference, 1799. 

I can tell you a piece of strange news. The Methodists 
of Congleton were remarkable for their immoderate attach- 
ment to tobacco, etc. When my pamphlet got to the place, 
it was read by several. Mr. and Mrs. Shadford, who had 

* Mr. Dutton was received. 


used this pernicious weed for forty years, gave it up at a 
stroke : the rest of the society followed the example. They 
then began to mourn and pray for forgiveness. God poured 
out his Spirit upon them, and such a revival has taken place 
as hath seldom been heard of. The society is more than 
doubled j and Mr. Reece, who is the assistant, and Mr.. Shad- 
ford, both declared in Conference to-day that the whole of the 
revival was, under God, owing to the pamphlet. Mr. Shad- 
ford added, that both himself and his wife had great reason 
to magnify God for it, as they were now better in their health, 
in their souls, and in their circumstances. Mr. R. said the 
pamphlet has got into all the neighboring societies, and is 
doing immense good. 

1794. — I preached yesterday at ten o'clock at Safford, to 
a very great congregation. ' Several thought it the most ex- 
cellent sermon I ever preached. With me it is a maxim, 
" The sermon that does good is a good sermon." You re- 
member Mr. Berwick mentioning a Mr, and Mrs. Broadhurst : 
he found peace at his class last Friday, and she found a clear 
sense of pardon under the sermon yesterday. This is worth 

my visit to Manchester. I dined at Mr. A 's, where I 

met Miss and Mary Marsden. I then met the select band, 
and great was our rejoicing together. In the evening I 
preached at Oldham Street to a very large congregation ; but, 
as usual in that chapel, I made very poor work. I met the 
society, which was at least two-thirds of the congregation, 
for most would stay, and found it a time of enlargement and 

Bristol, 1809. — I have not seen Mr. Wood's family. 
He went down to Taunton yesterday to open Mr. Lacking- 


ton's chapel, who, it appears, is willing to give it up to the 
Methodists on certain conditions ; one of which is, that the 
preachers who officiate in it shall wear gowns. If he had . 
said that each shall be supplied with a new coat, it would 
have been better* 

To HIS son John. — We have agreed that you shall stay 
at least a year at your uncle Johnson's, which I hope you 
will spend to the very best advantage. Enter radically into 
every thing you attempt to learn; and never, never be con- 
tented with superficial knowledge in any thing. Go through 
the Persian Pentateuch with as much speed as you can, and 
afterwards read the Baktyor Nameh. Get every rule and 
example of Jones's Grammar by heart, and then you will be 
able to go through any thing you may meet with. I suppose 
your uncle has the grammar. I have spoken to him to put 
you immediately to geometry, and after to learn Euclid's Ele- 
ments. This, I hope, you will apply yourself to diligently - 
It will be of the greatest advantage to you through life. Do 
not read to hurt your eyes. Be sure you never read with 
bad light, or late at night : if you do, you will infallibly ruin 
your eyes. Pray much ; and take care that you give no way 
to evil tempers. God alone can save you from them. 

. To Mr. Boyd, 1815, — Your piece on St. Paul is too 
valuable not to be brought in somewhere [in the Com- 
mentary.] I wish I had had it when I wrote the character 
of that apostle at the end of the Acts. However, I will 
watch for a proper place to introduce it. I am going off this 
day'to a missionary meeting at Birmingham, from which I 
shall not be able to return till the middle of next week. 
ThiB will make a great breach in my time; but I believe 


the work to be of God, and therefore feel it my duty to per r 
form it in the best manner I can. 

To Mr. Boyd, 1817.— I am much surprised to find that 
any of our preachers should " labor hard to dissuade you" 
from publishing your pamphlet against Methodism; for, 
although I have a very high respect for your learning and 
abilities, I am sure that Methodism ha? nothing to fear from 
any thing that you or any other person can write on the sub- 
ject in question. The most subtle casuists in the land have 
long ago done what they could, and Methodism continues 
now, as it was then, as inexpugnable as the pillars of the 
eternal hills. It has confuted all the arguments and calum- 
nies ever brought against it ; and if you can bring any thing 
new, worthy consideration, it will in all probability confute 
that too. You should bring forward no argument that has 
been answered ; because that would expose you to the censure 
of writing on a subject which you did not understand. For 
we do not fully understand a subject, if we are ignorant of 
what has been said or written pro or con. Have 

you counted the cost, and answered to your own satisfaction 
the Oui bono ? But I must not proceed, lest you should 
think that I too was joining in the strong dissuasions of 
Messrs. M f and K., to prevent you from publishing*. As 
your friend, I would ; but, as fearing for my system, I would 
not. You would have smiled had you heard the conversation 
on your letter when it came last night. Mary Ann, 

who has studied both sides of the question, and, as you know, 
has made some progress even in metaphysics, pleasantly said, 
" Well, if Mr. Boyd be so weak as to go to press with any 
thing of this nature, I know not but I may be weak enough 
to answer him; and shall take for my motto 2 Kings xix. 'i\ : 
' This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning 


i * <■ . • 

him ; the 'virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, 
and laughed thee to scorn ; the daughter of Jerusalem hath 
shaken her head at thee !' " Now, if you canntft laugh at 
the quaintness dftfcis conceit, you will laugh at poor Mary's 
presumption, well, they all wish you were here, and they 
would give you some better work than polemic divinity. 

To Mb. Boyd, 1817.^In passing along Red Bay, on my 
journey from Belfast coastwise to Ballycastle, I observed 
several caves opening to the sea. Our driver stopped, and I 
went into one where I saw a smith's forge, but no person. I 
went into a second, and saw a woman about sixty years of 
age, who had made it her residence. She keeps a goat, 
which browses about the fields, and furnishes her with milk. 
She gave us some, for which we gave* her ample pay. Ob- 
serving the roof and floor of this wretched habitation to be 
damp, I asked her how she could live in it, especially in 
winter. She said she did very well except when the wind 
blew from the sea ; and she was then very cold. Her bed is 
never otherwise than damp throughout winter or summer. 
She is a good Catholic, and swears hard when a little provoked. 
She gave me to understand that she "sold a drop of whisky." 
I was astonished at the power of accommodation which belongs 
to human nature : by habit and resolution a man may make 
all circumstances his own, and live anywhere but in the fire 
or under water. 


To Mr. Boyd, 1817. — I have settled the point on the 

three heavenly Witnesses. After I had written my note on 

1 John v. 7, and my dissertation at the end of that Epistle, 

I looked over Porson ;* but I found nothing fessfntial to add 

* Letters to Travis on the Genuineness of 1 John v. 7. , 


to what had been said. I have, however, quoted him, and 
have examined authorities which he never saw. 

To the same, — Well, we are getting on to Christmas. 
May we all be born of incorruptible seed ! A birth from 
above beggars- all earthly nobility. To them who believe in 
his name, the Lord Jesus gives power, ki-ovoiav, the privilege 
and authority to become the sons of God. This, my dear 
Boyd, I wish you and myself; that, belonging to the heavenly 
family, we may be kings and priests unto God. 

To his son John, 1817.— Mr. Fisher wishes much to 
have some memoirs of the princess : can any authentic be 
procured ? If I had a few well-attested facts relative to her 
education, manner of thinking, political intentions, sayings, 
actions, etc., I think I could draw up a good thing — some- 
thing that would set the nation right, and vindicate the con- 
duct of the regent ; for I cannot help thinking that he has 
been unjustly blamed. Besides, I do think that the nation 
has made too much of this death. We have acted as if the 
throne were vacant, or as if we had no legitimate stock, or 
the present ruler were acting a most unconstitutional part, 
and there were hope for the empire only in the life of the 
princess. Now, the reverse of all this is true ;' and I should 
like to have some excuse for a pamphlet which might set all 
to rights. Green would glean up all that the newspapers 
have ; and you and he, and some others, might get me all I 
want. — N. B. Naples and Spain could only inherit in tho 
Stuart line ; but they are cut off by the Act of Settlement 
in the posterity of Sophia, being Protestants. 

To Mr. Boyd, 1818. — I consider the whole system of 


philosophy unsettled, and chemistry and medicine to be 
retrograde. Even in my short life I have seen many changes ; 
systems, which seemed to have been demonstrated, over- 
turned from their very bases. Two years ago I talked with 
my old preceptor, Dr. Perceval, under whom I studied 
chemistry at Trinity College. I mentioned the doubts he 
proposed in his concluding lecture relative to that system 
which then seemed to have obtained universal credit, and 
that he had lived to see all those doubts realized. He ob- 
served, that he had equal doubts concerning the present sys- 
tem of chemistry, and had reason to believe that all our 
boasted modern discoveries would in process of time be en- 
tirely nullified. As to the geologists, they are as deeply in 
the mud as the chemists are in the mire. There is no end 
to their world-making ; and, in my mind, they are worthy of 
little regard. ^he foundation of God alone standeth sure, 
and to this they will all turn back when the pure light shines 
upon them; or rather, when they permit it to shine into 
them. Have a little patience, and all will come about. The 
bombast of the present system will soon make its last ex- 

October 11th, 1819. — 1 write this on the last projecting 
point af rock of the Land's End, upwards of two hundred 
feet perpendicular above the sea, which is raging and roaring 
tremendously, threatening destruction to myself and the nar- 
row point of rock on which I am sitting. On my right hand 
is the Bristol Channel, and before me the vast Atlantic Ocean. 
There is not one inch of land from the place on which my 
feet rest, to the American continent. This is the place 
where Charles Wesley composed those fine lines, — 

"Lo. on a narrow neck of land, 
'Twixt two unbounded seas, I stand," etc 


The point of took is about three feet broad at its termina- 
tion ; and the fearless adventurer will, here place his foot, to 
be able to say that he has been on the uttermost inch of land 
in the British empire westward. On this spot the foot of 
your husband now rests, while he writes the words of the 
same hymn : — 

" God ! my inmost soul convert, 
And deeply on my thoughtful heart 

Eternal things impress : 
Give me to feel their solemn weight, 
And tremble on the brink of fate, 

And wake to righteousness." 

October 22d. — 1 am just come in after preaching here. 
The crowd was immense. They had just enlarged the chapel, 
building a new end and gallery to it. When I was about to 
take my text, the gallery gave way ; the timbers fairly came 
out of the walls, yet it did not fall down ; but the confusion 
was awful. I was close to the gallery, and distinctly saw the 
peril ; and, had it come down, I knew I must have been the 
first victim ; but at least two hundred others would also have 
been killed. I stood in my place ; for, had' I moved, uni- 
versal terror would have taken place, and many must have 
fallen victims to an impetuous rush. The chapel wa» sopn 
nearly emptied, and no one was hurt. Many came back 
again, and I preached ; but I knew not till the end of the 
service all the miracle it required to save us. Then it was 
found that, owing to the pressure in the gallery, the timbers 
being too short, they had started out from the walls two feet,* 
and the gallery actually shook, having nothing but its pillars 
to support it. Our son John being beneath could sec this 

* Some of the timbers, of course. 


plainer than I could at the time ; and he saw also that, if it 
fell, he must be killed if he kept his place, which was imme- 
diately before the pulpit; but, as he knew that his father 
must be the first victim, he resolutely kept his situation, ex- 
pecting eternity every moment. But enough of this. It 
makes one's blood run chill. This is the last crowd I ever 
wish to see. 

To his son John, 1819. — Some time ago you requested 
me to set about writing my Life. This is a task which I 
have contemplated, but long feared to attempt ; but I have 
felt more on the subject since you wrote to me, and have 
lately been obliged to think deeply, as I received credible 
information that my Life is cut and dry, ready for the eye of 
the public as soon as my heart is cold. I came in here 
(Liverpool) last Wednesday evening. In a private conversa- 
tion with Mr. Drew, he most solemnly begged and charged 
me to begin the work; for some hackneyed, hunger-bitten 
scriveners were ready to praise me to death in prose, and 
murder me in verse. I believe all my conversations, and 
anecdotes which I have related concerning myself and my 
family, for several years past, have been carefully taken down 
and preserved. Mr. Comer took up the same subject, and 
most histantly begged me to defer it no longer, — because, 1 
suppose, they all see I am going; and I am led to think 
myself that 1 may be soon gone. Well, what should I do ? 
This Comment is still hanging heavy on my hands ; but, it is 
true, I am free from the Records. This gives a measure of 
leisure, and saves from much anxiety. Laying every thing 
together with the S'-mel calcanda via, I sat down on Friday 
in Mr. Comer's little study, and made a trial. All seemed 
light, all recollection ; circumstances and incidents, in their 
regular chronologic order, crowded upon me. I began with 


the origin of the distinction of families; accounted for our 
name ; gave, as far as I could, a history of our family ; gave 
a short sketch of my grandfather; then the history of my 
father, his studies, projected voyage" to America, employment, 
character, and death ; — of my mother ; my brother, his edu- 
cation, professional pursuits, voyages, death, and of the chil- 
dren left by him, John, Adam, Thrasycles, and Edward : 
then my own birth, singularities of my childhood, develop- 
ment of genius, commencement of studies, the labors of my 
brother and self in our little farm, etc., etc. : and in twenty- 
three closely-written pages I have brought myself on in my 
journey through life to the ninth year. Unless death stop me, 
I shall not stop now till this be finished. I am delighted with 
it : it is all incident. I have written it in the third person. 
This form can be altered, if necessary : the collection of the 
facts is the grand thing. I have always had it in purpose to 
write my own Life as Caesar wrote his Commentaries. This 
[way] prevents egotism. When Mr. Thoresby wrote his own 
life, the pronoun " I" occurred so often in it, that the printer 
was obliged to borrow I's from his brother-printers, as his 
c >wn had run out. Your father has never been in the habit of 
speaking much of himself; and it would ill become him, 
when about to pass the great deep, to occupy his time or that 
of his readers with these ceremonious and generally unwel- 
come pronouns. 

May, 1822. — The company [at Kensington Palace] con- 
sisted of His Royal Highness, [the Duke of Sussex,] Dr. 
I'arr, Judge Johnstone, Sir Anthony Carlisle, the Itev. T. 

Maurice, the Hon. Gower, Solomon Da Custa, Hon. 

< 'olonel Wildman, Sir Alexander Johnstone, Mr. I'ettigrew, 
Lord Blessington, and A. C. To give you a sketch 

iif the conversation is impossible; but I can give you some 


outlines : — The manners of the great were freely canvassed ; 
the bench of bishops was dissected ; the degradation of the 
Royal Society was deplored ; the character and conduct of 
the late Sir Joseph Banks criticized; the talents of the 
ministry estimated ; the Marquis of Londonderry character- 
ized ; several texts of Scripture, proposed by the Duke of 
Sussex, discussed; Bonaparte eulogized, as one who had 
never broken a treaty, and who in the flush of victory ever 
offered peace to his subdued enemies ; the probability of a 
Russian war conjectured; the writings of Aristotle praised; 
the different species of Greek literature discriminated ; with 
many other matters which I cannot now detail. 


London, Mat 6, 1823. — Yesterday we had our public 
meeting. It was a very good one, and well attended. The 
chief speakers were Mr. Hughes, (who is very ill, and I 
think dying,) Sir George Rose, Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. Stephen, 
(master in Chancery,) Mr. Bacon, the statuary, Mr. Williams, 
M.P., and others : almost all were churchmen, and seemed 
to rally around us. These eminent churchmen bore the 
finest and the most decided testimony to the excellence and 
glory of Methodism. The collection, I believe, was large, 
1 made some mistake in the account I sent you of my work. 
Mr. Jay had got at Queen Street between £80 and £90, and 
two gold rings. My friends were determined that none 
should go beyond me ; and ray gleanings on Sunday morning, 
after Mr. J.'a harvest, were £92 10s. My collection on 
Thursday night was £72; and the before - mentioned at 
Queen Street was the largest collection made this year in the 
city. So, you see, your old weather-beaten father is still at 
the head of the poll. 

During my speech yesterday I mentioned the Shetlands ; 
and what was the consequence ? I had one ten-pound note 


put in my hand, another ten-pound, and a five-pound. Mr. 
Bunting, being afraid that I should get all the monish, 
warned the congregation to give for the foreign missions; 
and so I got no more. However, I was content with what I 
did get. 

The sea was very smooth, and we were crowded with pas- 
sengers; several of them persons of distinction. We had 
three clergymen, two of them D.D.'s ; three generals, Welsh, 
Greaves, and Bingham; several majors and colonels; one 
Indian judge; some members of Parliament; and some 
ladies of rank. We had no less than five carriages on board, 
with horses, servants, etc. We were crowded ; but such an 
agreeable set I never met with in any place. All conversed 
with me freely and frequently ; the generals, and the other 
military men. On Sunday morning the ladies sent me a 
message desiring me to preach; the officers joined; but, as 
there were three clergymen, I thought it much better that 
they should be asked, as they were very respectable and 
indeed pious men. They consented. An awning was placed 
over the quarter-deck. One read prayers ; another, the les- 
sons ; and the third preached. It was really a good sermon 
of its kind, and read well by its author, Dr. Woodward, son 
of the Bishop of Cloyne. In the evening we got into 

knots. I had invitations on all hands to visit different 
country-seats near Limerick antl Cork, but was obliged to 
decline them all, as my stay was to be so short. They tried 
me on all subjects, religious, civil, philosophical, and literary. 
Blessed be God, who has given me some brains, and enabled 
me to cultivate them, I was not at a loss in any one instance, 
but spoke largely on all. After long sailing, we 

got into the Channel. The prospects on both sides of the 
river were most lovely. Our French horn blew different 


airs, — "Adeste fideles," "God save the King," and some 
psalm-tunes ; and the returning echoes were the finest I ever 


Sept. 4th, 1825. — I have now finished my work at this 
place. It is evening, and, while the rest are gone to hear 
Mr. Lessey, I sit down to write to you. I preached this 
morning at the Old Chapel. It was not a congregation, nor 
an assembly, nor a concourse, nor a crowd, but a tremendous 
torrent of human beings, produced by a conflux from the 
thirty-two points of the compass, of this town and its vicinity. 
I thought preaching would have been impossible; and it 
would have been so, had not W, Dawson got out into the 
burying-ground, and carried off one thousand of the people 
with him. I began at about half after nine, the chapel 
being then thronged. To deceive me, one slyly stopped the 
clock at a quarter before ten. I had in a few minutes perfect 
stillness; preached till twelve, not knowing how time went 
on. My voice was as loud as a trumpet, and I spoke till 
body and soul were nearly bidding each other a final farewell. 
The spirit of glory and of God rested upon all ; and I felt a 
hope that not a soul there would ever turn again to folly. 
Though there had been already three collections, at the first 
of which on Friday I got them £100, yet this morning 1 got 
upwards of £100 more, besides what Mr. Dawson got in the 
yard. I came to my lodgings in a piteous state ; a strong pain 
between my shoulders, indicating inflammation of the dia- 
phragm. Leeds comes next. I almost dread the human 
billows, the mountain-swells of thousands who will be there 

Northwick, Lat. 61 N., Jn/r 6, 1828. — I have this 


day had the highest honor of my life, having preached Christ 
crucified to the inhabitants (on this line) of the very ends of 
the earth ; beyond which the sound of the gospel never was 
heard, and indeed beyond which, in this direction, there is 
no human inhabitant. The huge hills of serpentine rock on 
either hand, with scarcely any vegetable covering, and of the 
islands and mainland on either hand, answering nearly to the 
description of Ovid :— 

"Est locus extremis Scythix glacialis in oris, 
Triste solum, sterilis, sinefruge, sine arbore, tellus ; 
Frigus iners illic habitant, Pallorque, Tremorque, 
Et jejuna Fames." — Met.viii. ver. 788-91.* 



God seems to have opened your way wonderfully to a 
people who seem to be prepared for himself. I hope you will 
be enabled to enter at every opened door; and by all means 
form societies in every place where you preach, if possible. 
You remember what our Large Minutes say on the subject; 
that " where we preach often without doing this x our seed 
has been sown by the wayside." If you can get but a dozen 
to meet in a place, on our rules, form them into a class ; and 
show everywhere the great advantages of this : and this is 
what we mean in that article of the Apostles' Creed, " I be- 
lieve in the communion of saints." It does not mean [only] 
receiving the Lord's Supper together. Show that 

* "Where frozen Scythia's utmost bound is placed, 
A desert lies, a melancholy waste ; 
In yellow crops there nature never smiled, 
No fruitful tree to shade the barren wild ; » 

There sluggish cold its icy station makes, 
There paleness frights, and anguish trembling shakes ; 
Of pining famine this the fated seat, 
, To whom my orders, in these words, repeat." 


God's people acted in this way in all ages ; and that, without 
such advantages, even the best-disposed make little advance 
in the divine life. 

Preach the whole truth, but not in a controversial way ; 
and dwell especially on Christ's love to all sinners, salvation 
by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and redemption from all 
sin. I have often successfully combated the Presbyterians 
with those words of their own Catechism : "Quest. 36. What 
are the benefits which in this life do either accompany or 
flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification ? Ans. 
They are, assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy 
in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance 
therein unto the. end. Rom. v. 1, 2, 5 : Prov. iv. 18: 1 
John v. 13 : 1 Peter i. 5." From these you may show the 
people what the doctrine of their forefathers was, and press 
them to look for the same blessings. 

Brother Dunn tells me that he is forbidden to preach in the 
churches : so much the better. I do not wish you to preach 
in any of their churches. You are Methodists Build on 
your own foundation. You cannot form classes, if you preach 
in other men's churches and chapels; and, if you do not 
form classes, you do not the work of Methodist preachers. 
Go on believingly. Read much, pray much, believe much. 
Visit the people from house to house. Take notice of the 
children; treat them lovingly. This will do the children 
good, and the parents will like it. All my family 

send their love to you. You have our constant, earnest 
prayers. — Letter to the Rev J: Raby. 


Bristol, April, 1828. — I get ground but very slowly. 

The easterly cold winds and wet weather arc much against 

me ; and, if some genial temperature do not soon prevail, I 

cannot divine when I shall be able to remove. News camn 


to-day that Mr. Myles is dead. He preached on Good Friday, 
Luke xxiii. 48 ; and gave the sacrament on Easter Sunday, 
and died a few days after. To-day, I have been able with 
much pain to get on my coat. I have nothing new to add. 
That my mind is low, very low, I need not say. May God 
help me to look above, and, when I look, to see always the 
brightness of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ ! 

And now, my dear Cecilia, I hope you are endeavoring to 
live in time, so that you may live for ever. I hope you read 
your Bible. What think you? After having more than 
half a century read it so much, I formed the resolution on 
January 1st to read the Bible through once more. I read 
the New Testament in Greek, and the Old Testament in 
English, collating it occasionally with the Hebrew : I bind 
myself to one chapter in each daily ; but I have often read 
more, and have read over the five books of Moses and the 
four Gospels. This I find very profitable. Now I commend 
this to you : and read so that your mind shall feel the read- 
ing, and then the reading will profit you. — To Miss Smith, 
February, 1830. 

With the new year I felt a purpose to mend, particularly 
in two things : First, to read my Bible more regularly ; and 
to get through it once more before I die. Second, to bear 
the evils and calamities of life* with less pain of spirit : if I 
suffer wrong, to leave it to God to right me; to murmur 
against no dispensation of his providence; to bear ingrati- 
tude and unkindness as things totally beyond my control, and 
consequently things on account of which I should not distress 
myself; and, though friends and confidants should fail, to de- 
pend more on my everlasting Friend. — To Mrs. i?oiofey r 1830. 


II y a quelque temps depuis que je vous ai ecrit en vous 
proposant cette question : S'il me faudrait vous confier le 
plus grand secret de mon ame, le garderiez-vous a vous, sans 
le commettre a qui que ce soit ? C'est a dire, pourriez-vous 
le garder inviolablement jusqu'a la mort? Vous m'avez 
repondu, Ah que oui ! Eh bien, je vous dirai que vous §tes 
la seule personne au monde a qui je puis me fier. Vous 
m'aiderez de vos conseils, et de votre adresse, et vous ne ma 
tromperez pas. C'est assez de termes generaux : quand 
j'aurai une affaire particuliere, je vous le confierai. — To the 

1831. — The letter I wrote to the chief secretary for Ire- 
land, on the Education of the Irish Poor, makes nearly nine 
foKo pages. It takes a view of the uneducated state of the 
people, the ardent desires which the Irish feel for knowledge, 
and their remarkable aptness to receive instruction ; an 
account of the six schools which, in the course of April and 
31 ay of this year, I established in very neglected places in 
the north ; the places of instruction ; the difference between 
eduoation and cultivation; the great necessity for girls' 
schools, and prudent, humane female teachers ; and the 
easiness of educating the whole of the people. I have asked 
no help from him, but have offered to aid others by my ex- 

January 10, 1832. — You may have heard that I was 
sent for, at his earnest request, to see Mr. Baynes on his 
death-bed. I went with all speed, and saw him on Thursday 
morning, stayed all flight, and saw him on Friday. He was 
in a truly glorious state. Took the coach that evening to 


return. It was dark and foggy, and the fellow had no lamps. 
T was apprehensive of danger. She was full outside ; and 
live, instead of four, within. A little short of the Swan he 
swamped over the coach, and projected all the outsides and 
the luggage into the ditch, broke the pole in two, smashed 
the windows, and stove in the side of the coach. I suppose 
I lay (for it fell on my side) fifteen minutes, with three per- 1 
sons on the top of me, before they could get us out. I was 
only a little bruised on my right shoulder, but sadly trampled 
on ; and then had to stand more than an hour, in the rain 
from above and the slush below, before I could get relief. 

The next day I received a letter from Mr. Scott, (of Pens- 
ford,) and one from his wife, begging me to come to see him, 
as his life hung in doubt, and he wished to see me before he 
died. I sent to town to take my place. After my late 
shaking, this is a serious experiment. Pray for your poor 
father, who, through God's mercy, has been ever ready to 
obey such calls. 

Pensford, Jan. 16. — I got into Bristol Wednesday night 
very late, and set off the next morning for thjs place. I 
found Mr. Scott ill ; but he would walk from room to room, 
talk about the things of God, and appealed as if he would 
yet weather a few storms. But he has continued to sink, 
and is now as low as well can be. But he is quite sensible, 
and is very happy in God. He seems to dwell in God, and 
God in him. I have not found a greater evidence of com- 
plete salvation. His mouth is ever filled with the high 
praises of God for what he has wrought in and for him. He 
is full of admiration of the perfections of the Divine Nature, 
and his wonderful condescension towards the fallen race of 
man. "God is love," is a frequent ejaculation; and he 
seems to feed upon it, as the very food of his spirit. He 
takes no food, but a little drink to wet his lips from time to 
time. This morning he performed the last act of his life, 


viz., signing a check for £50 for Zetland. He would do it, 
it being his last instalment ; and, though he had only to sign 
his name, Mrs. Scott having filled up the check, yet he was 
at least a whole hour before he could do this. His right 
hand had lost its cunning, and its strength also. He will no 
more grasp a pen. Having loved Zetland, he loved it to the 

From another letter.— When he found he had suc- 
ceeded, [in signing the paper,] he spoke, as well as he could, 
these remarkable words : " There, for the work of God in 
Zetland, I send my last check to heaven for acceptance ; and 
the inhabitants will see that the writer will soon be there 
himself." I turned the chair a little about; he leaned him- 
self back, and sighed out, "Glory, glory be to God, for his 
astonishing love to such a worthless worm ! 0, God is Love !" 
He is sinking very fast) and will, to every human appearance, 
keep his next Sabbath in heaven. Talking of resignation, 
he said to the doctor, " My soul is perfectly resigned to the 
Divine will. I have a full assurance of God's love; and it is 
no odds to me whether I be found in this world or in the 
world of spirits an hour hence." 

From another. — I seem to have been brought here to 
learn to die ; and the lesson before me is both solemn and 
instructive. Certainly Mr. Scott is dying a very noble death. 
May God make my last end like his ! 

Mr. Thomas Roberts; "whom you must have known, one of 
our preachers, now lies dead in Bristol. I hoped to see him, 
but he was gone befdre I reached the city. I should have 
been glad to see him : forty-seven years ago I sent him out 
to preach his first sermon. He was an amiable, sensible, and 
pious man. 

January, 1882.— This morning I have written a oon- 


gratulatory letter to the Duke of Sussex, on his birthday, 
the 27th. 

March 13. — From every appearance I. find, by laying 
another load on an already overburdened horse, I may be 
able to preach for the schools at Stoke-Newington on April 
8th. This is as far as I can go. I hope Mr. Smith will take 
care that there be no reporters of sermons suffered at City Road 
on Sunday, 25th. I must, if possible, be at Kensington 
Palace on the* evening of the 24th, though I should stay bub 
half an hour, as I have received the special invitation of the 
Royal Duke to be there. [We make this extract to show 
that the good feeling between the Prince and the Doctor con- 
tinued to the close of life.] 

May, 1832. — Wherever I went, the congregations were 
vast, and the collections for ' the Missions great beyond ex- 
ample. At Birmington, £12 last year ; it was £50 this. At 
Sheffield, last year, £120 ; this year £240. I went to Thora- 
cliffe, where, instead of thirty or forty shillings, I had £11. 
I got to Bruerton, and on Sunday preached at Staf- 
ford, where we had good times. Miss B. gave jne £2 for 
your orphan-school, and £50 for my Irish schools. ' 


Coleraine, June, 1832. — I am here cooped up, a burden 
to myself, and I fear to others. Since I got to this place, I 
have not been able to go where I could do the work for 
which I came, till yesterday ; when I was taken by Mr. 
M'Alwine to visit the Port-Rush school, with the intention 
of returning by Port-Stewart. But I was so exhausted, when 
at Port-Rush, as* not to be able to Stand alone; and, there- 
fore, having looked around, I resumed my seat and got back 
to Coleraine, to all my feelings worse for the journey. 


For want of manufactures, the streets and the country are 
full of boys and girls more than half naked, having nothing 
to • do, and desiring to do nothing. Manufactories are a 
blessing, independently of the means of living which they 
insure ; as discipline and order, which they produce, are un- 
noticed restraints on immorality and vice; and 'order is 
Heaven's first law.' The want of it is ruinous. I think 
how much I owe to it. Had it not been for this, I should 
have read little and written less. Time would have hung 
heavy on my hand, and yet I should not have had enough of 
it for any purpose of life. As every thing should have its 
place, so every place should have its proper occupant ; and 
habit and caution will do the rest. 

July 22, 1832. — I got to Liverpool last evening ; obliged 
to travel all night and all yesterday. My friends were look- 
ing out for me. I have been to hear Mr. Entwisle in Bruns- 
wick Chapel, on 'All the promises of God are yea and amen.' 
I am got here in the very jaws almost of the cholera. The 
man-servant of this family took it, and his wife took it also. 
They-have escaped with the skin of their teeth. The mis- 
tress of our charity-school in this chapel, where we hold our 
Conference, was taken last Saturday, and died in a few hours. 
Tier sister, who came to minister to her, returned to her own 
house, was seized on.theuoad, and was dead before twelve 
o'clock. Am I then, in the very same house and chapel, out 
of danger, and likely to escape ? Yes ; if God say, " The 
cholera shall not kill thee." I am waiting the Divine deter- 
mination. We expect a crowd of preachers. I think when 
they are come, and see and hear as I do, they will put their 
"helm a-lee and' seek safety on some other t*ck. Liverpool 
is full of thia ruinous disease. Now, my dear Mrs. Tomkins, 
I commend you and yours to God, and the word of his grace, 


which is able to build you up, and give you all an inheritance 
among the saints in light. 

From another, to Mrs. Smith.— -Hear of our state, and 
pity us. We have had the cholera, with its concomitants; 
but, thank God, it is abating. My niece Burnett and her 
child have been snatched out of the fangs of the poisonous 
viper; and now a burning atmosphere is absorbing all our 
moisture. I keep as close as I can to the Conference, and go 
limping on my staff. I am constantly in fever; and Mr. 
Hensman comes frequently to the chapel to examine my state. 
Several of the preachers have been indisposed,- less or more ; 
but I trust we shall return with our ranks unbroken. To-day 
I am finally set down supernumerary for Windsor — with a 
roving commission. 

To Mrs. Clarke. — They are determined to commission 
me to be a general visitant of the churches, attend public 
meetings, and make collections. Mr. Watson said privately 
to me, that " they were resolved to make me an archbishop." 
Yesterday I delivered Up the Zetland missions to 
the Conference ; also the £3000 of my trusteeship, which I 
held for them under Mr. Scott's will; and the £400 which I 
have from Miss Sophia Ward. I have offered also the Irish 
echools, which, I believe, will be received. 

Frome, August 9, 1832. To Mrs. Clarke. — I believe 
I told you I was obliged to preach at Stanhope Street, (Liver- 
pool,) before the Conference, on Sabbath morning; and a 
glorious time it was. The preachers were greatly affected, 
and poor Gaulter cried like a, child. I returned over the 
water, went to Mr. Forshaw's for dinner and sleep, and the 
next morning set off, and got to Worcester in twelve hours. 
The Rowleys were well, and the cholera within a few doors 
of them. I got some sleep, rose in time, and set off for 
Bath, which I reached at seven in the evening. Yesterday 
morning got a coach, and arrived at Frome before twelve: 


found Matilda and children well, and Joseph full of anxiety, 
preparing for to-day's meeting. 

Memorandum, by the Rev. J. B. B. Clarke. — For some 
time I had been engaged in organizing a " Society for the 
Amelioration of the Condition of the Poor" in the extensive 
parish of Frome; and, wishing to obtain all the help in my 
power, I wrote to my father, who had gone down to the Con- 
ference at Liverpool, urging him to attend our public meet- 
ing, apd to preach the first sermon for the. society in the 
Methodist ehapel of the town. To this request he assented, 
and wrote to say he hoped to be in Frome on the morning of 
the 9th, which was the time appointed for the meeting. 

Much earlier in the morning than there was reason to ex- 
pect my father, I. was passing through the hall, when I saw 
the well-known blue travelling-bag resting against the wall ; 
and,' filled with unexpected joy, I went to the dining-room, 
which he had entered just before me. . " The old man, you see, 
Joseph, is come," said he, with his usual tone of kindness, as 
he placed his hand upon my head and kissed me : " though 
battered and tossed about, he has yet strength to come at the 
call of his son." He sat down for a few minutes while I took 
off his gaiters; and then, as was his frequent custom, he began 
to walk slowly, diagonally across the room, asking various 
questions about myself and family, and talking of the occur- 
rences and company he had met with on the road from 
Cheshire. It was then that I observed a very marked differ- 
ence in his appearance : his cheeks had fallen in, and he was 
considerably thinner than when, J. had last seen him. Hig 
step was How and heavy, with small remains of that elastic 
firmness for which his walking was always remarkable ; and 
the muscles of his legs had evidently much shrunk — a sign 
of old age which his straight and well-proportioned limbs had 
never before shown. His neck also was apparently shorter. 
Besides these symptoms of deoay> when walking out with me, 


there was more dependence on my arm, and on his Btaff, than 
had ever been usual with him. 

The conversation was chiefly occupied with family aflairs, 
and the plan of the intended society. He • entered into its 
object, and appeared gratified at the extensive and influential 
support which it had obtained. It was impossible not to 
notice the depth of interest, which he felt .*• all showed that 
what he said and did were the results of feeling and consider- 
ation. This observation applies to his whole stay with me. 
Constantly cheerful and pleasant, and even playful ; 
but mingled with such blandness and holiness as at once won 
you to love the man who thus felt, and looked, and spoke. 
A touch of heaven seemed to have passed upon all his feel- 
ings, and he appeared as one who was not preparing to be, 
but had already been, beatified; his joy was so pure, his 
kindness- so heartfelt, his piety so intense, his- manners and 
voice so expressive of inward peace. Many times, while we 
stayed together, was I compelled to give way to the emotions 
of my heart, in the mental exclamation — " Thou God of 
love ! I bless thee for my father." . . 

To Mrs. Smith, August 14, 1832. — I have given yon 
some information relative to our operations at Frome on the 
9 th ; and you had some from Matilda. Give me leave to 
make a reflection. What is your brother ? Nothing further 
than the curate of a vicar ? 'When you consider his amazing 
plan to visit the thirteen thousand persons that form the 
population of Frome, and relieve and instruct aH*hose who 
should be found to need instruction and relief, you may call 
it Quixotish. . When you consider his having penetrated into 
every lane, and alley, and court, and divided [the place} into 
fifty-three districts, and gone into every house of all sects 
and parties, and prevailed upon a sufficient number to occupy 


those fifty-three districts as visitors, you may judge this to be 
a task herculean ; and when you further consider that this 
young man/without patronage, but by his own moral weight, 
has projected and established such a work, and has been 
capable of bringing forward to the assistance of the institu- 
tion all the constituted authorities of the place, the Marquis 
of Bath, the Earl of Cork, the Lord Bishop of the diocese, 
the county representatives, the clergy, etc., you may well be 
astonished. Such an effect he could not have produced, had 
not God been with him. 

Bath, August 20, 1832. To Mrs. Tomkixs.— I have 
nearly finished my work in these parts, and must get home as 
fast as I can. ! have to preach the anniversary sermon at 
Bayswater next Lord's day. I have had some hard work 
hereabouts, but it has been owned of the Almighty. Though 
far from being well, I have had either incessant work and 
travelling, or confinement and suffering, for nearly four 
months ; and now I should have rest ; but that, I doubt, is 
yet far from me. My wife has sent me a letter received from 
the Zetlands, giving an account of a most calamitous event. 
A horrible storm at sea has fallen upon the poor fishing- 
boats : upwards of thirty, each containing five or six men, 
are supposed to have perished. Many Methodists were in 
them, and not a few leaders ; and the misery that has fallen 
to our lot is, at least, forty widows, and more than two hun- 
dred orphans. I thought I could have a little rest; but now, 
to meet this calamity, I must collect my little strength and 
set out afresh, to strive to meet and relieve this loud and 
dismal cry. My dear Mrs. T., you must endeavor to feel 
with me for them, and try what you can do. 

About seven weeks before his death, Dr. Clarke, in closing 


a short journal of his last visit to Ireland, does it with the 
following words: — "Thus terminates a journey remarkable 
for affliction, disappointment, and suffering. I went over to 
Ireland to work : I could do nothing, being called to suffer. 
My soul, hast thou learned any good lesson ? Yes. 

" What is it ? It is this : that I have now such evidences, 
of old age as I never had before. Yet I believe my under- 
standing is as clear, and my judgment as sound, as ever. 
But, during my late detention and sufferings, have I repined 
against God or his providence ? — felt that my lot was hard, 
and that I was not permitted by him to do that work which 
was for his glory ? No : I was only disappointed ; and' I 
endured the mortification without a murmur. I was enabled 
to bow my neck to his yoke, or lie at his footstool. I felt 
that he was doing all things well, that I was safe if in his 
hands ; and therefore I could say, and did often repeat that 
commendatory petition frequent among our pious fore- 
fathers — In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. 

" The cholera was before me, behind me, round about me ; 
but I was preserved from all dread. I trusted in the sacrifi- 
cial death of Jesus : no trust is higher ; and none lower can 
answer the end. — I have redemption through his blood; and 
I am waiting for the fulness of the blessing of the gospel 
of Jesus. 


and delight. 'E/iol yhp rb $qv, Xpiarbg- ical to dnoOaveiv, 
Kepdog. (Phil. i. 21.) rrjpdoicu) del, -rrokXd, Si6aaK6\ievog. 
May I live to thee, die in thee, and be with thee to 
all eternity. Amen. — Adam Clarke." 


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